How the Blind Use Echolocation
Echolocation relies on the production of sound to gain information about objects. A person who echolocates produces subtle—and often inaudible—noises. Those sounds bounce off of nearby objects, and the returning sound waves provide information about the location of nearby objects. To determine whether blind people engage in this form of sonar production, researchers tested them for a common illusion. The Charpentier illusion occurs when people perceive a smaller object as heavier than a larger one.
Researchers presented three groups of participants with three cubes of different sizes. The cubes weighed the same, but participants could only lift them by pulling a string attached to each cube. The first group were blind but did not use echolocation, while the second group consisted of blind echolocators who relied on tongue clicks and finger snaps. A third group had no visual impairments.
You can view a real-life example of human echolocation
Echolocation: A ‘sixth sense’ for blind people. (2014, December 26). Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287405.php
Source: Good Therapy, 30th Dec 2014