Live Interactive KFOR Radar

STUDY: Mice in the dark hear better

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Does vision loss help musicians? Researchers at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University demonstrated that adult mice, when put in a dark setting, appear to hear better and are more skilled at telling pitches and frequencies apart.

At the same time, the brains of these mice showed changes that normally occur early in development, including stronger connections between neurons, Nature reported.

It appears that the brains of the mice compensate for the loss of vision by strengthening hearing, even during a temporary deficiency of vision. But whether sensory adaptation would happen the same way in humans remains to be seen.

“Future work will identify if such deprivations are effective in humans. For example, while one week of deprivation showed effects in mice, for humans longer deprivations might be needed,” study co-author Patrick Kanold, a biologist at the University of Maryland in College Park, told Nature.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.