MAR 01, 2018 1:34 PM PST

Do deaf and blind people dream with sound or sight?


If you're like me, understanding your dreams can sometimes be confusing. So many perceived stimuli and it all feels so real! Often times dreams seemingly incorporate all of our senses - but what about the dreams of people who lack one or more of those senses? Do you still experience your dreams with vision or hearing, for example, if you're blind or deaf?

Research has shown that this can depend on if the person once had a sense that they no longer currently have; i.e. if they lost their vision or hearing instead of being born without that sense. For example, most people who have lost their vision before the ages of 5-7 do not dream with sight while those who lost their vision at a later age and still retain visual memories will often experience dreams with sight throughout the entirety of their lives, varying from concrete forms to shadows and unidentifiable shapes. The general consensus though is that the longer someone has been blind, the fewer visual dreams they will experience.

Deaf people experience similar situations as blind people, but their dreams tend to capitalize on sight instead of sound and the other senses. Unless a person had the ability to experience hearing within their living memory, it is unlikely to have auditory sensations in their dreams. Knowing this, how do you think people who are both deaf AND blind dream? Watch the video to find out!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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