After More Than 300 Years The Problem Was SolvedThursday 2nd of February 2012 12:01:01 AM
MIT scientists solve mysterious Molyneux problem
In 1688, the Irish scientist William Molyneux posed in a letter to John Locke the next problem: If a blind from birth person acquires the view of adult age and see a cube and a sphere, geometrical figures which earlier knew recognize and name thanks to the touch, would be able to distinguish with the view that already known to identify with their hands? An affirmative response, according to Molyneux, would imply that we had a concept of innate - independent of the senses - of certain concepts, as the sphere.
Three centuries later, scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) have failed to resolve the problem of Molyneux studying a group of Indian blind from birth children, aged between 8 and 17 years, who had regained sight after an operation. As explained in the magazine Nature Neuroscience Pawas Sinha and his colleagues, initially subjects knew immediately recognize your gaze that previously had large hands, indicating that the brain does not create a unique representation of things linking different types of sensory - in this case, visual and tactile information-. However, they acquired this ability at a surprising speed a few days of practice, which suggests that our brain has more plasticity than previously thought even after the first years of life.
That was it
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