How the Blind Dream

By | 2:22 PM Leave a Comment

Today I found out how the completely blind dream.
Peaceful Dreams
It turns out that if they went completely blind before around the age of 5-7 years old, they will typically dream without any visual experiences.  In the very few cases where some report having visual experiences in their dreams, these experiences are more in the abstract sense where they feel like they were seeing something, even though they couldn’t actually recollect or describe when they woke up what the thing looked liked that they saw.  This is similar to how occasionally in dreams you can just “know” something, even though there is nothing specifically that you are experiencing in the dream which should indicate what you know. For instance, in a dream where when you wake up, you remember feeling like you were in danger in the dream, even though nothing you can recall in the dream indicated any danger.  There was just some abstract sense of it.
Outside of the interesting “around the age of 5-7″ cutoff for visual dream experiences, the dreams of those who are completely blind before this age tend to be principally auditory in nature.  However, what is also fascinating is that, compared to those who can see and hear, the blind report drastically increased taste/smell/touch sensations in their dreams, not just auditory sensations taking over for the lack of visual sensations.
Now if they go completely blind after around the age of 5-7, the vast majority of completely blind people will at first dream very similar dreams to those who are not blind, albeit, once again, with more non-visual sensory experiences than is reported by those who can see and hear.  But nevertheless, their visual experiences in their dreams tend to be quite similar to those who can see.  If they had diminished vision early on in life though, perhaps only seeing colors, then their visual experiences in their dreams tend to be similarly diminished based on those visual experiences.   As time passes, they typically will report more and more prevalence of experiences from the other senses and less and less visual experiences in dreams.  Often the visual experiences will become more vague and “blurry” as time passes, but they do seem to remain to some extent throughout the blind person’s entire life.
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