• Chris McMillan

The Boy Who Learned to See — and What He Teaches Us About Vision

Wall Street Journal


18th June 2021


The Boy Who Learned to See — and What He Teaches Us About Vision

By Susan R. Barry


To ask a blind person to acquire the sense of sight after childhood is to ask them to reshape their identity. They may have functioned quite independently when blind but now find themselves as vulnerable as a young child. With their new sight, they can see but cannot recognize a flight of stairs or a loved one’s face. Bombarded by visual stimuli they don’t understand, many who gain sight in adulthood become despondent, reject their vision or even lose the will to live.


At first blush, vision seems a purely mechanical process. Photons hit the light-sensing pigments in the retina of the eye, triggering a cascade of electrical and chemical events that send signals to the brain about light, color and motion. Yet these events tell only part of the story. Even if we all possessed identical sensory structures, we would each perceive a different and very personal version of the world, a version built upon our experiences, needs and desires.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-boy-who-learned-to-seeand-what-he-teaches-us-about-vision-11624028655

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