From hearing to seeing: brain injury research discussed

The latest breakthroughs into how sight loss caused by brain injuries can be improved will be the subject of a lively discussion presented by a researcher from the University of Aberdeen.

Partial sight loss following stroke affects around 55,000 people across Europe each year.

Professor Arash Sahraie, Professor of Vision Sciences at the University, will attempt to use the way we hear and interpret music to explain how sight can also be broken down and reconstructed.

He said: “When we listen to music we can quite easily tell if it is played using lower or higher notes. The auditory pitch is directly related to the vibration frequency of sound waves arriving at our ears. In our ears the sound waves are broken down to various frequencies and then sent to our brain for further processing by our nervous system. 

“I would like to show how a parallel can be drawn with regards to vision, in that we can break down an image again to its fundamental components, and inversely, we can reconstruct an image from its fundamentals.  I will use examples to demonstrate how our visual sensitivity also varies as a function of fundamental visual frequencies.

“I will attempt to demonstrate how we can use these observations to assess the vision in those with blindness after stroke and outline some of our recent findings. In addition, I will demonstrate how rehabilitation models have been developed based on our knowledge of visual sensitivities to the fundamental frequencies to help those affected by blindness.”

‘From Hearing to Seeing’ will be the latest subject in the popular Cafe Scientifique series. This informal discussion aims to bring together leading researchers and the public over a coffee, in a relaxed atmosphere.

The free event will get under way at Waterstones on Union Bridge, Aberdeen at 7pm on Wednesday (March 20).

Further information can be found at