Prototype of the EnableTalk gloves
Programs that transform typed words into speech are old hat. But what about a tool to translate sign language into audible conversation? Ukrainian students have created gloves that can sense what the hands are signing and a program that translates the signs into both text and speech. The project, called EnableTalk, is a finalist in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup competition.
A brain is a terrible thing to waste–and your brain knows that. A new study of congenitally deaf cats has shown that some parts of their brains which would typically work on hearing are repurposed, and instead help out with vision. As a result of that clever efficiency, these deaf cats have superior peripheral vision and motion-detection abilities than cats with normal hearing.
Researchers say the human brain may perform the same trick.
For years, researchers have known that deaf people often have superior peripheral vision and motion detection, but just how the brain creates these advantages was unclear. “Over the years, we’ve speculated about how these changes might be taking place,” says neuroscientist Helen Neville of the University of Oregon in Eugene, but a clear cause has been elusive. [Science News]