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#1 keef

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 09:56 PM

Well, around 3 months ago, I woke up, and thought of this question. 2 teachers, and 60 kids didn't know. not even my parents.

So...

You know how you can "see" images in your sleep, or unconscious? If a person blind for all of their life, do they see images in there sleep too?

Justify your answer too.

I've heard these so far:
Yes if they've been blind partially for there life.
No, they've never seen anything.

Also- I have many more questions that are interesting like this too.
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#2 doubleshot

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 09:59 PM

I'd say yes, everyone has an imagination. If I started to describe something, with words that meant things you've never even heard of, I'm sure you'd have SOME kind of picture in your head. You don't dream in your eyes, you dream in your mind.
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#3 Thom

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:02 PM

I've actually thought on this myself and I would have to guess that a person who has never had sight would lack the necessary sensory context.
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#4 raw shrimp

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:03 PM

Thats a really big coincedence. Today at school my friends And i were arguing over if a blind person could wrestle, and win a match. evryone said no, except two other people and I. And to answer your question, I agree with doubleshot. Everyone does have an imagination.

Edited by raw shrimp, 18 March 2008 - 10:04 PM.

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#5 Flaming Hilt

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:15 PM

I agree that everyone has an imagination, but I also agree you need prior experience with a respective sense to be able to imagine things with that sense. If you've never felt before, and someone is describing something furry to you, how do you know what furry is? You have no idea. Same with sight, in my opinion at least.

You could always find someone blind and ask them. : o)
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#6 Carbon

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:16 PM

When you have a question that needs answering, go ask Cecil. In short, if someone has never had vision, they won't dream visually. A person who lost sight later will have visual dreams, but with less detail as time goes on.

(I wouldn't take the Straight Dope as a primary source of research, but it appears to be a good summary of the rest of the sources I read while researching your question.)

Edited by Carbon, 18 March 2008 - 10:17 PM.

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#7 PC III

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:22 PM

Blind for life= no, because a dream if a "recap" of the day to remember the day to remember important info, and discard unimportant stuff. They have an imagination yes, but with no memory of it, they would not see an "image" but a remembrance of there life with what ever senses they do have.
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#8 raw shrimp

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 11:48 PM

Even if they were blind their entire lives, they might feel dreams. I don't know, maybe they can feel happy in the dream and what not.
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#9 TAiLsChaser

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 12:10 AM

I wouldn't say they dream per se... Nor do we really for that matter. These "dreams" we have are chemical in the mind and in order to justify them, we fabricate images. How we do that is by filling in the holes with experiences that we have lived though (ie the recap deal). However, there are those who dream deeper than others and also "feel" their dreams. Most nightmares have this sensation. I'd suggest that if a blind person had never "seen" something with their eyes, I'd imagine they could "see" with touch.

After living in your house for so many years, do you not feel that you could walk it blindfolded? That's memory. We never actually see our dreams but we elude to that idea that we "see" them because we have no real explanation of what our minds were doing.

Edited by TAiLsChaser, 19 March 2008 - 12:11 AM.

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#10 Thom

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 02:38 AM

Think of it this way: can you "see" imaginary images in the ultraviolet spectrum?
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#11 OfAllTheNerf

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 02:40 AM

This is a very interesting question. No doubt that any one could argue either way.

I'm not really sure, but if someone has never seen ANYTHING, then they don't even know what sight is, therefore they would not imagine something that would be completely alien to them. Something that doesn't even exist. It's like saying that our universe is something completely random in something that's alot larger and so incoherent that we can't, well, cohere to it.

To answer the question though, I think they would probably "feel" like others have said, mainly because that is their primary subsitute for sight. They might "feel" their way around a dream.

In any case, no one will really know (and even if you asked a blind person, they wouldn't be able to tell you because they don't know what an image is (that will probably cause alot of controversy...)).

Great question nonetheless.
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#12 MoonMaster

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 05:23 AM

I don't know of the truth of this, but the visual cortex of the blind has been rewired to use information from the other senses. This means that the blind do "see", but not in the sense that we do.
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#13 VACC

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 09:03 AM

Thats a really big coincedence. Today at school my friends And i were arguing over if a blind person could wrestle, and win a match. evryone said no, except two other people and I. And to answer your question, I agree with doubleshot. Everyone does have an imagination.


One of Death's friends from high school was a blind wrestler, and I believe he went to states. Suffice to say he was pretty good, I'll have to get the name and details from him later.
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#14 imaseoulman

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 09:29 AM

Slightly off topic: High School State Wrestler with NO ARMS OR LEGS
Back on topic: As Carbon correctly pointed out, the general rule is that the congenitally blind do not see. However, there are exceptions to every rule. Dreams are based upon memory (and what we think/imagination is part of our memory). If a blind person could some how "imagine" sight (many can depending on how blind they are; most "blind" people can distinguish light and dark) then they could theoretically have dreams with visual images.
But seriously, check out that Kyle Maynard kid...the coolest part is watching a guy with no arms or legs eating a bowl of cereal (yes, using a spoon) or typing 40 wpm without any special equipment!
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#15 Captain

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 01:49 PM

Well...it's an interesting question. I'd say that because a dream is like a compilation of your day's experiences, a blind person would have seen nothing to dream about, other than sounds. Even if they have an imagination, they couldn't just generate images in their mind if they've never seen anything in their whole life. Maybe you should find a blind person and ask them.
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#16 Zaxbys

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 02:43 PM

I will answer that question. Yes, blind people do dream. Here is my explanation of why that is.

You and I "see" with our cerebral cortex, and not with the eyes. The eyes are sinply senoory organs that serve the cerebral cortex in the process of sight by sending nerve impulses to the brain, specifically the cerebral cortex. But in a blind user however, the sensory organs do not transmit nerve impulses to the cerebral cortex for them to "see" this could be becuase their rteina is detached form the inside of the eye's wall or other various pathology dealing with the eyes. Now when you dream you use your mid- frontal cortex which is a section of the cerebral cortex. Since the cerebral cortex also allows for your dreaming, and it is still perfectly intact, even with the blind sensory organ this means that the person CAN dream. Becuase even though dreams are said to be based on life experiences, the person still has life experiences, only they use their other sensory organs such as the ears, nose, etc to have those experiences.

I hope this clears things up.

~Zaxbys
Future M.D.

Edited by Zaxbys, 19 March 2008 - 02:45 PM.

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#17 NerfMonkey

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 04:41 PM

Zaxbys, I think you're full of shit.
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#18 Zaxbys

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 04:43 PM

Feel free to research it yourself, and prove me wrong......I would be interested to learn from it.
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#19 d0nk3y k0n9

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 05:20 PM

I would say that a blind person could dream, but that in their dreams they would still be blind. That is, they would dream using other senses. Since they have no context of what sight is, they really wouldn't be able to imagine being able to see the images in their dreams, but they would be able to sense them just as well as non-blind people see things in dreams, but using other senses.

A similar question would be if I asked you "Do you dream in 4 dimensions?" The technical answer would be that yes, you dream in 4 dimensions, but you can only comprehend or see 3 of them, so to you it appears to be 3 dimensional even though there is still a 4th dimension there.
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#20 bogboogalars

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 05:25 PM

Ok then what is the so called 4th dimension?
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#21 laxtk88

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 05:31 PM

As much as I hate to admit that I am not the only one with medical knowledge, Zaxbys is totally right. Though the topic is not about IF a blind person can dream but if a blind person can SEE in the dream. In my opinion, they can imagine what it is like to see using their other senses to make an educated guess as to what certain things look like.
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#22 Zaxbys

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 05:40 PM

As much as I hate to admit that I am not the only one with medical knowledge, Zaxbys is totally right. Though the topic is not about IF a blind person can dream but if a blind person can SEE in the dream. In my opinion, they can imagine what it is like to see using their other senses to make an educated guess as to what certain things look like.


I couldn't agree more.
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#23 d0nk3y k0n9

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 06:02 PM

Not to derail this too far, but about understanding other dimensions or concepts which we cannot directly comprehend, Flatland is a really good book to read on that topic.

Flatland
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#24 Spectre666

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 06:48 PM

Thats a really big coincedence. Today at school my friends And i were arguing over if a blind person could wrestle, and win a match. evryone said no, except two other people and I. And to answer your question, I agree with doubleshot. Everyone does have an imagination.


The school freshman team that I'm on went up against a school with a blind wrestler who actually was really good and had won some matches, but he wasn't good enough to beat our team.
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#25 Foam Shooter

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 07:41 PM

Thats a really big coincedence. Today at school my friends And i were arguing over if a blind person could wrestle, and win a match. evryone said no, except two other people and I.



Anyone remember the movie Going to the Mat. It was aired on the Disney Channel a while ago about Jason "Jace" Newfield. It was the best and thankfully one of the only movies I have watched on that channel.
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