Do the blind dream in images? A blind man CAN navigate through a maze, using his sense of intuition. And facial expressions of joy and defeat are the same for both blind and sighted people, despite the fact that the blind have never seen them.

Researchers are studying a man who was blinded by a stroke but who is able to walk around obstacles without bumping into them. In BBC News, Helen Briggs quotes researcher Beatrice de Gelder as saying, “You can experience a total loss of your cortical vision but still retain some capacity to move around inside and out without damage to yourself. It shows us the importance of these evolutionary ancient visual paths. They contribute more than we think they do for us to function in the real world.”

Joyful smiles or sad expressions, after winning a competition, are the same for blind and sighted athletes, which shows that certain facial expressions are innate (in our genes), and not copied from what we?ve seen other people do.

Researcher David Matsumoto says, “Spontaneously produced facial expressions of emotion?are the same as for sighted individuals [and blind people] in the same emotionally evocative situations. Blind athletes, and especially those born blind, could not have possibly learned to produce those exact facial configurations from modeling the expressions of others. Our emotional expressions probably come from our genes, and all of us, regardless of gender or culture, are capable of this behavior.”

In BBC News, Helen Briggs quotes researcher Sonal Rughani as saying, “These are very exciting findings but [they] will require further research.”

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