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Medical Born blind, how might I dream differently then you?

  1. Feb 24, 2012 #1
    How do the blind dream differently then those with sight?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    It depends on when the person went blind and on the type of blindness?

    There's a type of blindness where the primary optic nerve is damaged but the secondary nerve is still functioning allowing the person to sense movement.

    Perhaps if you research blindness on Wikipedia you might get some ideas.

    And then there's the synthesisia effect where the neurons for sight might pick up sensory data from the other senses and provide that to the brain as color.
  4. Feb 25, 2012 #3


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    Gold Member

    you would have no visual representation of things, but you would still have an idea of geometry and shape through how things feel (like a blind person may dream about the shape of their lover's face and the sound of their voice). The texture and shape of somebody's face is probably very graphic to a blind person and the probably have a lot more symbolism and generalizations in their mind that are based off of the shape and texture of things by feel, so this will be in their tool bag for imagination.

    Of course, audio and olfactory perceptions are still important, I just think the way blind people use their hands is particularly intimate.

    Many parts of the association cortex are capable of taking on more types of function than are nominally exhibited:

    (not a peer-reviewed article, but this is an accepted idea among the neuroscience community)
  5. Mar 3, 2012 #4
    Dreaming for me is very visual. I see things, and it is, at least some of the time, in very good detail. It is very similar to seeing things while I am awake. It is actually quite difficult to imagine dreaming without seeing everything.
  6. Mar 3, 2012 #5
    Explanations from the blind about dreaming,

    http://www.afb.org/Search.asp?action=results&q=what+are+your+dreams+like&in=main [Broken]

    5 . Re: dreams
    Posted by ILoveElias on 02/12/2007

    I wish I'd joined this board earlier. I see that you posted way back in January.
    Anyway, I've been blind all my life, I was born that way, and I do dream. I had one dream when I was little, where I actually knew that I was dreaming. Most of the time of course, your asleep, and don't realize that your dreaming until you wake up. But I remember lying on the livingroom floor, and I could feel myself going into a dream. I've never had that happen again, but it was pretty interesting.
    As far as dreams in general, I've had lots of them. I'm not sure exactly what your questions are, so this explanation could get long. Lol. Anyway, I've had people ask me if I dream in color? And do I see people when I dream, see what they look like? Or, if I'm dreaming, if there are objects in my dream, say an animal, a table, what have you, do I know what it looks like?
    So, to the first question, I usually don't dream in color. However, I do know what colors are, the general ones. For example, if I hear the word blue, I think of the sky, the ocean, or someone's shirt.
    Green I associate with the grass.
    White, black, brown/tan I associate with a person's skin color.
    Red I associate with flames or passion, or blood. Some people may find that morbid, but I don't.
    Anyway, you get the idea.
    On to the second question, if I dream about someone I know, then I already know what they look like, so yes I see them. If I'm dreaming about someone I don't know, if I dream about a baby for example, then I generally know what they look like, but I don't get into the characteristics that would separate one baby from another. So, I know that babies are small, so in my dream, their small, but I don't see eye color, hair color, etc.
    If I dream that I'm in need of assistance, and a police officer comes up, then I know he/she's wearing a blue uniform, that they have a gun & a badge on them, etc, but again, I won't see facial characteristics, hair color or eye color..
    And finally for the third question, I know what an object looks like. So if I'm dreaming that I'm talking to someone, and we're sitting in chairs, I see the chairs. Not in color, but if you asked me about it the next morning, I could tell you that we were sitting in chairs talking.
    I hope this helps clarify things for you somewhat. It'd be easier to explain in person, so if you need more of an explanation, don't hesitate to ask.
    I've done public speaking all my life to both children and adults, so I'm usually good at answering their questions.

    blind peoples dreams and lucid dreaming

    Posted by Marissa on 7/17/2007 4:05:20 PM.
    You know I bet blind people could wake up in their dreams and just stay awake in their dream world instead of returning to this world... basically like an extended OBE(out of body expericence)...hmmm
    Another thing is that I was wondering if you are blind from birth you supposedly only have auditory dreams... but wouldn't you be able to imagine what seeing would be like... I mean you can feel crap and stuff like that to imagine what it looks like...
    The other thing related to all blind people that I was wondering is that if blind people could become lucid in their dreams they could tentatively "wake up" in their dreams... just a thought... I have read about one lady that did this with her partner... Any comments?

    There are currently 9 replies.

    Re:blind peoples dreams and lucid dreaming
    Posted by marygbilancio on 01/15/2011

    I have taught blind children for 30 years. I have always been intriqued by my blind students dreams. Children of all ages have recounted vivid dreams describing objects and colors. When questioned about the people in their dreams they tell me that they can't describe what someone looks like but they hear them. Intresting!

    Re:blind peoples dreams and lucid dreaming
    Posted by eyes wide open on 01/14/2009

    Hello I am totally blind. I had sight for 29 years. When I dream I can see in my dreams but I am presenting myself as a blind person and try to convince everybody that I am blind. I will use a cane but I can see in my dreams. i have not yet to dream an audio dream. Also since I have been blind I can wake myself out of a dream by thinking to myself that it is only a dream and I need to wake up. I have done this when i am having a bad dream. I just start doing off the wall things that do not go with the dream and beforeI know it I am awake. I know that I am awake because I wake up and I can not see a thing. Then i know that I am back in the real world. I say that because I have woke up in a dream and found myself still in a dream . The only thing that I could figure out was that I was dreaming in a dream. Sorry my respond was so long...

    Re:blind peoples dreams and lucid dreaming
    Posted by sms83 on 06/27/2008


    It's me again. I forgot to mention. I am legally blind and I've had plenty of lucid dreams. Some were quite vivid in color, (the most memorable).

    I started practicing lucid dreaming when I was younger. It was something I noticed naturally.

    It basically started when I'd be in a deep sleep and dreaming a good dream. Well someone or something would wake me out of that good dream and I was determined to finish it. So I laid back down and focused on where I left off so I could resume the dream.

    I've felt the sensation of falling and getting heavier. I've felt the sensation of flying. My sensation of flying was so real that I questioned it while awake. I asked "did I fly in a dream or did the wind pick me up while outside and awake?" The odd thing is, I never remember when it occured. I just remember the sensation of flying.

    I've indeed had a dream within a dream a few times. Maybe the above story was one of them. It was facinating. I've awakened in my dreams too. It's far out!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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