Plasticity and The Senses: Paul Bach-y-Rita


感官與可塑性 : 保羅 巴哈-y-瑞塔

January 10, 2008


Added May, 2008: In December 2007 the PBS Wired Science show included a piece about Bach-y-Rita’s research.

Scientists Rewire the Brain through the Tongue is the written text, or you can view the video of the television segment Mixed Feelings.



5月新增: 200712月在(美國)公共廣播公司(PBS)科學線上節目展示了部份 巴哈– Y瑞塔的研究。



The first time I heard of Paul Bach-y-Rita was on a public television broadcast of a special show about the brain. The story of Paul Bach-y-Rita fills the first chapter of Norman Doidge’s book, The Brain That Changes Itself.


我第一次聽到 保羅 巴哈– Y – 瑞塔是在公共電視台播出的一個關於大腦的特別節目。

保羅 巴哈– Y –瑞塔的故事也成為諾曼多奇的著作 改變是大腦的天性”  的第一章。(此書在台灣已付梓)

The stories of Bach-y-Rita – how his father recovered from a stroke and the impact this had on Bach-y-Rita’s career, the people with severe balancing issues who were essentially cured by his discoveries and innovations, and the people who had no vision who were able to begin to see – are compelling in and of themselves. They are very human stories, derived from the work of a man who was altruistically motivated.


巴哈– Y – 瑞塔的故事集 包含他的父親中風後如何康復以及對巴哈– Y – 瑞塔的事業生涯有何影響,藉由他的發現和創新治好有嚴重失衡問題的人,甚而眼盲者也能夠重新看見是那麼的引人入勝。那些非常人性化的故事,源於一個人其無私努力的動機。



A major contribution of Paul Bach-y-Rita’s to neuroscience was in thinking of the brain as “polysensory”, meaning that the sensory areas of the brain, rather than only processing information from just the senses that normally report to those areas, are actually able to process information from any of the senses. The stories referenced above, relating to balance and vision, rely heavily on the polysensory ability of the brain to take input from the tongue and route it to the areas of the brain dealing with balance or vision.


保羅 巴哈– Y – 瑞塔對神經科學的重大貢獻是,大腦的思想具“polysensory 多種感能的,意思是大腦的感覺區,不僅是只處理一般研究報告中認為大腦在各區域所應反應的訊息 ( 請參閱 ), 實際上而是更能夠處理來自任何感官的訊息。上面所引用,關於平衡和視覺的故事,很大程度上是依賴於大腦的多感覺能力使其接收來自舌頭的感應藉以連線至大腦使其處理平衡或視力。


Amazing? Absolutely! His work is a reminder of how adaptable our brains are, and makes me wonder how many more hidden secrets are waiting to be revealed. You can read more about the science behind Bach-y-Rita’s efforts in these articles:

On Wisconsin Magazine: Balancing Act (Spring 2007)

Discover Magazine: Can You See With Your Tongue? (June 2003)

Discover Magazine: Artifical Sight (August 2001)

College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Tongue seen as portal to the brain (2001)

神奇嗎? 當然了!他的工作提醒著,我們的大腦有其適應能力,使我驚異不知還有多少隱藏的秘密正在等待被發現。

你可以閱讀以下更多有關巴哈– Y – 瑞塔的研究成果:
Wisconsin Magazine:平衡的行動(2007年春)
探索雜誌:藉著舌頭看見什? 20036月)



本文出自 Neurons Firing  (校稿中)



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