decades of fun

Healing Senses By Depriving Them

Interesting theory here that a lazy eye can be cured or corrected with several days of absolute darkness. The lazy eye is a function of the brain not being able to control and process the eye properly, not a function of a malfunctioning eyeball.

The idea is that this total darkness reboots the visual cortex and allows the subject to emerge from the darkness and view the world in a more accurate way.

This is based on the what they call plasticity of our brains when we are younger. It’s been shown that the young brain adapts and takes on new skills faster than an older brain, in particular sensory and motor skills.


The visual cortex in the rear of the brain


Researchers believe prolonged darkness, while maintaining everything else in normal patterns (eating, sleeping, socializing, etc.), allows the visual cortex to reset. When first presented with light it quickly decodes it and re-learns how to see.

The theory is that those that suffer from a lazy eye will see a real improvement with this non-invasive treatment.

The doctor behind it had to do a trial run, so he used himself and a volunteer to live in a light-free apartment for a week. Since they survived the trial run with no drama a larger study is being prepared.


The auditory cortex is nearly wrapped around the Thalamus, which is responsible for processing all sensory input, and regulating consciousness, motor skills, and sleep.


It is also interesting to note that sound experiments with light depravation have shown that subjects increase their acuity to sound when in the dark – aka the blind musician concept. Researchers kept mice in the dark and did sound tests and guess what, the dark-living mice could detect more detail in sound than the lighted ones.  But in this case, once emerging from the darkness, their hearing skills went back to previous norms. They want to extend the test to see if they can permanently improve the subject’s hearing.

I generally support any therapy that is non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical, so I wish them luck in their studies.

I’d go into a dark room for a few days and have a real stay-cation especially if I believed I would emerge improved and healed. This also sounds like something someone could manage mostly by themselves with a few close companions and basic medical consultation.