Deaf people "have better eyesight"

Deaf people "have better eyesight"

Deaf people have better eyesight than the average person because their retinas develop slightly differently, according to a breakthrough study carried out in the UK.

Experts at the University of Sheffield carried out research, funded by RNID – Action on Hearing Loss and published in the journal PLoS ONE, which suggests that the retinas of deaf people develop differently so they can capture more peripheral visual information.

A study carried out by the university"s Academic Unit of Ophthalmology and Orthoptics showed that the retinal neurones in deaf people appear to be distributed differently around the retina to prioritise the temporal peripheral visual field, which is what a person can see in their furthest peripheral vision.

What the research shows, for the first time, is that additional changes appear to be occurring much earlier on in visual processing than the visual cortex and may even begin at the retina, the experts stated.

Meanwhile, recent research carried out by Dr Thomas Wolbers, from the University of Edinburgh"s Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems, found that people do not only use their eyesight to estimate their visual surroundings.

by Emily Tait

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