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Since daredevil is blind, he has increased senses in everything other than sight, is this an actual thing in real life or is it just made up to go with the story? It would be really cool if it was a real thing.

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    There's definitely merit to the concept. I saw a Discovery (Science?) channel show that interviewed a blind man that had developed a rudimentary but functional form of echolocation. In general your other senses attempt to "fill the gap" left by the lack of one of your senses because your brain no longer needs that extra processing power it would have needed for the missing sense. – ViggyNash Jan 10 '18 at 4:40
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    even Daredevil is not real thing though. but increased senses in person who lost one or two essential senses is very common in both movies and books. There are also tons of stories that real people had the ability in different levels. I cant understand what you're trying to ask here. Is it, is daredevil's heightened senses are real or is he just a blind man with fake made up heightened senses? or just looking for Are there any similarities to daredevil in real world, real people? – Vishwa Jan 10 '18 at 5:26
  • I've heard radio stories about blind people who do seem to be able to use sound and echoes to help them map out their surroundings in real-time. Ironically enough, instead of referring to Daredevil, the sonar-like capabilities tend to lead to them being called real-life Batmen, or some such. – RDFozz Jan 11 '18 at 21:19
  • Note that Daredevil has heightened senses, not (only) because he is blind, but mainly has a consequence of the chemicals that rendered him blind. He explains this to the nun at the orphanage he grew up at the beginning of Season 3. – Taladris Nov 16 '18 at 2:38
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Since daredevil is blind, he has increased senses in everything other than sight, is this an actual thing in real life or is it just made up to go with the story?

Yes, this is a real thing.

If you ever get the chance to study human biology, one of the first principles you learn about the brain is that it's plastic. This is to say that -- there's a feature of the brain that manages what each and every neuron's function is, and, depending on how frequently a neuron will actually perform it's assigned function, the brain may "reassign" the neuron to perform a different task.

By "default", the brain has a preprogrammed map of what neurons will perform what tasks, however, this map is subject to change, and is mostly based on external stimuli.

In the case of Daredevil, he first went blind around the age of 10. Given this fact, although the neurons that reside in his visual cortex did undergo differentiation, with their primary function contributing to Matt's sight, since this happened at a fairly young age, Matt's brain still had ampule opportunity to undergo the "remapping" that was previously mentioned.


Supporting Evidence

Brain imaging studies describe visual cortex activity in blind people during nonvisual tasks such as Braille reading, hearing words, or sensory discriminations of tactile or auditory stimuli [for literature citations see Burton et al. (2002a,b) and Sadato et al. (2002)]. Simply stated, loss of vision does not lead to permanent inactivation of visual cortex. These counter-intuitive findings support the notion of altered capabilities for surviving modalities through reorganization of cortical functions.


Primary visual cortex receives visual input from the eyes through the lateral geniculate nuclei, but is not known to receive input from other sensory modalities. Its level of activity, both at rest and during auditory or tactile tasks, is higher in blind subjects than in normal controls, suggesting that it can subserve nonvisual functions; however, a direct effect of non-visual tasks on activation has not been demonstrated.

..

Blind subjects showed activation of primary and secondary visual cortical areas during tactile tasks, whereas normal controls showed deactivation. ... Thus in blind subjects, cortical areas normally reserved for vision may be activated by other sensory modalities.


Additional Thoughts

If you're interested in the details of the biological concepts that were hinted at in this response, I strongly suggest you post this question on Biology.SE. If you do, I would perhaps ask to what extent the brain may compensate for sensory deprivation in certain functional regions, or, if sensory deprivation of a specific sense is known to directly enhance the performance of another specific sense.

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I found a small study with only 28 people (12 blind and 16 not blind) that seems to indicate that the brain rewires itself to some extent to compensate for blindness by heightening its perception to other senses.

Having said that, there obviously needs to be deeper researches into this and this study may not really mean anything at all.

  • Another small study here, with similar results: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC544930 – Pablo Lozano Jan 10 '18 at 10:34
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    Plus, you know, obviously no chance of being distracted by something you see. Not to the point of sonar, but, still. – PoloHoleSet Jan 10 '18 at 15:12
  • @PoloHoleSet When ability to see is taken away, few more senses should work together for a person to achieve what he tries to do. So it won't be less distracted but increased tension and requirement of hightened concentration – Vishwa Jan 11 '18 at 8:11
  • "So it won't be less distracted" - of course it would. Prime example - people trying to talk on the cell phone while driving. Talking distracts from attending to what's going on in traffic. If someone suddenly veers into the lane, requiring the driver's attention, the conversation gets halted and the train of thought is lost. Or there is a car crash. Yes, more attention is needed, but there's also an entire sense, that the majority of our "thinking" portion of the brain is built around, that is no longer receiving uncontrolled input. – PoloHoleSet Jan 11 '18 at 15:35

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