Spreading The Prakash

Pawan
Sinha (Nature.Com)

Four years ago scientists discovered SRD, a 32-year-old Ahmedabadi woman born into blindness.

Now her case, published recently in Psychological Science, is forcing scholars to reconsider their approach to the disability.

Neuroscience dogma says little can be done if a blind child isn’t operated on by age six.

But SRD’s case is turning that doctrine on its head–her sight was restored at age 12, and her brain, in strong defiance of theory, “learned to interpret visual information.” The findings provide hope that the brain can learn to see later on in life.

“There is a critical period for perfect acuity,” Pawan Sinha, the study’s primary investigator, and a neuroscientist at MIT tells Time Magazine. “But there is not a critical period of learning to do complex visual tasks.”

Sinha is the founder of Project Prakash, a humanitarian and research effort aimed at expanding access to proper eye care in India.

More:
Project Prakash
Prakash featured in MIT news mag
The Sinha Lab at MIT
Pawan Sinha’s profile on Indian NGOs

March 7, 2007
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