Ben Lycett – Proposal

Stimulating the Visual Cortex:Investigating the use of non-traditional ‘visual’ data and neuroplasticity

Ben’s own experience tells him it is possible to be dyslexic in one language but not another – i.e. English but not C++.

Ben’s experimental technology project investigates the way the brain sorts sensory inputs and then processes that information by attempting to use senses other than vision – and specifically the tongue – as an interface to the visual centres of the brain. He plans to create an alternative form of ‘vision’ via a low resolution, braille-like, plate placed on the tongue. He want’s to investigate if the brain will sort and process this information in a different way. If it does then in the longer term it may be possible to present textual information in such a way that will allow a dyslexic person to ‘read’ using a part of the brain that is not dysfunctional.

Ben will integrate and adapt a range of existing technologies into his Arduino Tongue – Ultrasonic Sonar Glasses, Eyewriter and Microsoft’s XBox Kinect.

The first output of the project will be an invisible maze that the participant traverses – a virtual landscape that the participant can move through in physical space – using only their tongue to sense the walls of the maze. After the user is calibrated to the system, they will be able to experience a set of audio visual sculptures that they will perceive in 3D space.

The final iteration of the project will be to increase the resolution of the system to be able to reproduce text.

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