I've always wondered whether people who are born blind see in their dreams. I read that they dream sounds, smells and sensations, as dreams are generated from real world experiences. What if we told a story using no visuals but purely through sounds? We don't necessarily need to include dialogue, we could add an element of mystery to it and leave the audience to imagine the characters and location.
- Our dreams are informed by our experience i.e. our senses
- When someone loses their sense of sight, their other senses can become heightened.
- Mention Black Box story line. Patient who lost sight started hallucinating enticing scenery.
- People who lost their sight after the age of 7 can still generate images in their dreams.
- Do blind people see in their dreams? Do they see in color?
- Post from the American Foundation for the Blind website
- I HAD SIGHT FOR 52 YEARS AND LOST MY SIGHT FROM DIABETES.
I DO DREAM IN COLOR IN MOST OF MY DREAMS. I SEE IN ALL MY DREAMS ALSO.
- Hurovitz et al . (1999) – U of Hartford
- Blind from birth or lost their sight before age 5 cannot generate images in their dreams
- When they describe their dreams they refer to “seeing” things, but actually describe experiences of other senses when asked in more detail.
- Post from the America Foundation for the Blind website
- I don't "see" in dreams because I have no visual images on which to base anything. Instead, my dreams are very rich with the senses of my world. My girlfriend (she is sighted) and I have conversations about dreams all the time and we often share dream ideas. It's in the interpretation where we differ. I hope that helps a bit.
Hurovitz, C., Dunn, S., Domhoff, G. W., & Fiss, H. (1999). The dreams of blind men and women: A replication and extension of previous findings. Dreaming, 9, 183-193
Bocco D. (2011). Do people who've been blind since birth dream? http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/blind-dream
American Foundation for the Blind. (2005) Do blind people see in their dreams? Do they see in color? http://www.afb.org/forum/general-questions-about-blindness/do-blind-people-see-in-their-dreams-do-they-see-in-color/12
i don't know when it began
but i dream of you now
of the face i knew
but never saw
of the hands i've felt
but never seen
tripping over my moles
dancing around my freckles
here you are
you are sighs
in that accented tenor
i feel you quiver
the same hesitation
once upon a time
the years have passed
yet, the wind still howls
the summer rain still
follows the curve of
breast and bone
in the daylight
you are gone
but at night
in the mind's fevered light
to leave me alone
Allow me to begin by explaining my psychological condition, synesthesia. Synesthesia in its basest form is the crossing of senses. So for example, if I hear something or see something I might taste or feel something entirely different and vice-versa. Such as: when I touch some types of glass I can feel a twitch in my ears, when I hear the sound of velcro separating I can feel my nose get very tingly, and when I smell coffee I can taste mint (this one is quite nice, actually). There are really far too many, describing them all would take both pages and ages.
My first experience with my strange condition is as vivid in my mind as it was 15 years ago, mostly because I still experience this sensation frequently. When I was five, I was not very fond of shoes that required laces, so I had shoes that fastened with velcro. Whenever I separated the velcro to put on my shoes, the sound it created made my nose tingly (not aware of any other word to describe the feeling can make me feel less masculine, but that's the most accurate description I suppose). Back then I just thought everyone felt what I felt, but I am now very aware that the 5 year old me was quite wrong.
Dreams, or just going about life in general are both very strange experiences, as I've heard others describe of my condition. I've had synesthesia for as far back as my memories had begun to find themselves important enough to categorize within my mind. I first realized that I have synesthesia during my indtroductory psychology class my first year of college. Up until then, I just thought it was impossible to diagnose because anyone I would describe it to would just give me a very weird look, and it didn't bother me enough to actually research it myself.
Now a bit older, I've found that even thinking about these strange stimuli activate my synesthesia. Even while writing this my nose has become very tingly. This has made dreaming a very strange experience; whereas, if I encounter any of these stimuli I would feel the reaction while I sleep. I can sometimes even wake up from it because one of my "activations" I guess you could call them, is that when I feel something with the consistency of a cotton ball or cotton candy I can smell a very overpowering lavender. For some reason this one always seems to wake me up.
As you can imagine, this has made dreaming a very strange experience, and it always manages to be more realistic than I would prefer.
If you stuck with me this far, thanks for reading!
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