Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Seven Year Old Blind Boy Learns to Use Echolocation

Via -

7-year-old British boy, nicknamed "Batboy," has learned how to "see with his ears" and is now able to play basketball and even go rock climbing.

Lucas Murray is able to visualize his surroundings by using a form of sonar that reflects back the world around him, The Sun reports.

He clicks his tongue on the roof of his mouth and is able to know where objects are based on how the sound bounces back. Murray is also able to estimate the size of an object by the intensity of the echo, with a smaller object reflecting less of the sound wave.

The technique, called echolocation , is similar to that used by bats and dolphins.

Murray was taught the technique by Daniel Kish, founder of the World Access for the Blind charity, after his parents saw Kish on TV and asked him to work with their son.

Although it is rare for humans to use echolocation, experts say the basics can be learned in just a couple of weeks.

Ben Underwood, a Sacramento, Calif., teen who had been blind since he was 3, had also mastered using echolocation to see. Tragically, Underwood died of cancer earlier this year.


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