Some research ideas related to the Deaf community
  • dfhdfh
    Posts: 35
    This discussion was created from comments split from: hello, world. What categories do you think we should have here on the forums?.
  • RobinRobin
    Posts: 11
    How about a "research ideas" section, where individuals could post suggestions for research relevant to these ideas, and those interested in carrying out research could look for inspiration? Who knows, maybe there's a lot of relevant research already out there, but carried out with quite different goals in mind.

    So for example, with relevance to my earlier post in which I wondered whether the Deaf community is less left-brain dominated,

    1. Are native users of sign language measurably more/less ambidextrous than the deaf who were not brought up to sign?
    2. Does the experience of signing measurably affact brain chemistry in the short term?
    3. Is there any data on how hemisphere disablement/damage impacts on sign language use/comprehension?
    4. Is there any data on whether the deaf have unexpected physiological differences not directly explicable by their lack of hearing?
  • dfhdfh
    Posts: 35
    @Robin: I went ahead and created the section, as you can see.
    It would be great if this forum became a place for discussions around
    serious research.
  • DanielDaniel
    Posts: 10
    Cool.
  • _ts__ts_
    Posts: 50
    Interesting Robin...It reminds me of what is almost a cliche now- the portrayal of a blind person with fast ninja like reflexes and heightened senses, which make you wonder how they knew to move or react how they did without being able to see. It's true that when we lose one sense we become naturally more tuned into the others, and in some cases this might slightly shift us into perceptual states of more right hemisphere involvement, which could be behind some of the more baffling abilities people have.

    By the way...Beethoven was virtually deaf by the time he wrote his 9th symphony...
  • RobinRobin
    Posts: 11

  • RobinRobin
    Posts: 11
    My basic theory about the deaf is that since their language contains less 'arbitrariness' (maybe ~40% of signs are 'imitative') it might involve less left brain activity than spoken language. At least the way I sign, expression of gestures/acting ability is a big part of it, as opposed to grammatical exactness/large vocabulary.

    This tallies with various pieces of anecdotal evidence of feeling different when signing, a deeper sense of connection to those with whom I'm communicating, a more holistic awareness that every act we do is a form of communication.

    Those who can speak and sign would be an interesting population to study.

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