Prof. dr. L. (Lawrence) Weiskrantz
Honorary supervisor Prof. Dr. B.L.M.F. de Gelder - 1997 - Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen
Lawrence 'Larry' Weiskrantz (1926–2018) was a British psychologist who discovered the phenomenon of blindsight.
Blindsight is when a person with a brain injury that causes blindness can nevertheless detect visually presented objects, accurately aim and distinguish them. He studied in America at Swarthmore College and subsequently became a fellow at Oxford University where he became Professor of Psychology until his retirement in 1993. Weiskrantz was one of the leading experimental neuropsychologists of his time. His book Consciousness Lost and Found is the result of a search for the phenomenon of consciousness and for its physiological evidence.
Patients with brain injuries are a rewarding field of research for neuropsychologists because damaged brains can tell them a lot about the "normal," healthy brain. For the past several decades, Weiskrantz focused on cognitive functions—such as seeing, remembering, making sense of things, and the ability to deal with language—of people with brain damage.
Subconscious perception, according to Weiskrantz, does not only take place in patients with amnesia or damaged visual cortex. Experiments with patients who are completely numb to certain places on their body (e.g., an arm) have shown that blindfolded, they can unerringly indicate where on the arm they are being poked.
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