It’s been a second since my last post but what can you do? I’ve got work, school, plus I actually research all the questions that make up this blog-page. So it takes a while to come up with questions I’ve always wanted to know the answers to and then searching for the answers. But anyway, enough of me…
This may seem like a rude question but it’s something that’s always intrigued me. Can blind people really see in their dreams?
Most researchers believe that people who are blind from birth or who become blind in infancy do not see in their dreams. They do not retain visual imagery because it was never acquired in the first place.
However, those blinded in childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, or afterwards usually do see in their dreams. “They often retain visual imagery in their waking life and in their dreams,” according to Drs Nancy Kerr of the Department of Psychology at Oglethorpe University and G. William Domhoff of the Department of Psychology at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
For people with normal vision, dreaming is intensely visual. The dream state typically involves vivid scenes and imagery, much of it drawing upon our daytime experiences and concerns (whether conscious or not). Auditory stimulation plays a small role, and the other senses, like taste and smell, are virtually absent. It’s similar to the black-and-white dream phenomenon some older individuals experience. A 2008 study at the University of Dundee in the UK found that people who grew up when television was first invented sometimes have dreams in black-and-white, while those who have experienced only color television usually have colorful dreams.
We may never fully understand the way blind people dream, since they experience life in a totally different way than those of us with sight do. But we do know that their dreams can be just as vivid and intense as ours, perhaps even more so because they utilize four senses instead of one or two.