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Article
August 4, 1900

THE PERCEPTION OF THE BLIND.

JAMA. 1900;XXXV(5):303-304. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460310037013

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Abstract

In the Doctors' Magazine for July is an article by Frederick Boyd Stevenson giving an account of certain inmates of the Illinois Industrial Home for the Blind, who, though totally blind, possessed the faculty of recognizing objects, to a certain extent, without the apparent aid of the other senses. Thus, one could tell when he was approaching a tree or a curbstone and could even recognize the different individuals in the room. But if he was expecting to meet persons he could not tell whether any one was in the room or not. Similarly, if the electric light was turned on unexpectedly he was aware of it, but if it was announced beforehand he could not recognize the difference. Attention or expectation seemed to destroy the peculiar perceptive faculty possessed by the individual, which seems, therefore, to depend somewhat on the untrammeled exercise of all the powers of unconscious sentience

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