Human Echolocate, The newest scientific research said that after proper and enough training and practicing, most people can learn how to echolocate. For this purpose humans use their tongue to click sounds and to interpret the sounds of the echoes that come back after reflecting from the surrounding obstacles. According to the researchers they were able to practice the participants within 20 weeks to navigate the obstacle and to recognize the size and the orientation of the obstacles by rebounding calls of their clicks. They used 12 people who are blind since their childhood and another 14 people who are not blind.
All of us know that animals like bats and whales use echolocation. The amazing this is, some blind people also use this method to get an idea about the obstacles which are in the surroundings. They use different methods to make sound waves like tapping by a cane, a finger or making sounds using their mouth. But there is a small amount of people with this ability because they are not taught how to do it and get the benefit of that amazing hidden skill. Echolocators who are brilliant in this field are trying to spread this skill for year and this new study says that they only need to do some simple training to improve this ability.
Echolocate Training Sessions
After conducting 20 training sessions which were 2 to 3 hours long, researchers found that all participants who were old and young, blind and sighted had improved their ability of echolocation. In these training classes scientists used negative virtual mazes – corridors arranged in T-intersections, U bends and zig-zags to improve their ability to identify the size and the orientation of the objects using echolocation.
At the end of the training sessions scientists used a virtual maze that was not used before in the training sessions to check the skills of the participants. Even though this was a new environment blind people also navigated with lower number of collisions than they had been at the biggening of the training sessions. This proved that training sessions had been improved the ability of echolocation. Not only that scientists also found these trained echolocators performed nearly well as seven experts in this field who used this method for several years.
Although some previous experiments had been conducted to check whether sighted people have this ability, but this is the first time which extend this experiment into blind people and different age types. There are visual parts in the brain which help to see the world around us but it is unclear whether those regions can be used to get the same experience for the blind people as well. Although the ability to learn, see and hear lose with age, the ability to learn echolocation does not depend on the age. In this training classes their were participants as old as 79 years. After doing the experiment scientists could find that there is no large difference between the ages.
After three months of training, blind participants told that they had improved their ability to move than before using this echolocation methods. Finally 10 out of 12 blind participants said that it was very useful for their independent life style.
Definitely this new studies will help blind people to improve their ability of echolocation and to improve their ability of moving after some training sessions.