Creating super human senses

What would it be like to have a "Spidey sense"? Or radar senses just like superhero Daredevil, who could acrobatically get through a small space full of traps ready to kill, in spite of the belief that he's entirely blind? As scientist Dr. Bradley Voytek of U.C. Berkeley suggests, it wouldn't be much different than the super senses you already have available, should you ever choose to develop them.

How we get the mega abilities

There are super senses that humans can acquire, according to U.C. Berkeley neuroscientist Dr. Voytek. He said humans have always had access to them. Voytek explains that the human mind has unimaginable powers. In the brain, there are membranes. This is how our senses for instance seeing and hearing are able to work. Our senses work with and away from our conscious awareness. The degree of sensitivity is not basic in any way.

What Voytek thinks

According to Voytek, our senses are remarkable. The upper and lower thresholds are much farther away than we realize. Human beings are able to see two photons in the retina. That is the lowest a human can see. As such, it would theoretically be possible to see the flame of a candle from miles away, provided the right landscape and weather conditions.

Most expect hearing to be between 20 Hz and 20,000 kHz. It is possible that a human could hear the Brownian motion vibrations with enough effort, or the particle theory movement of atoms.

We also know humans can smell as few as 30 molecules of substances at a time.

Why people aren't using the 'super senses' daily

Too much attention is needed to use super sense which is why human beings do not use them, according to Voytek. That much focus is too much for most people. People do not want to have to focus like that. Experiments testing the physical limits of an individual human sense tend to require subjects to intently focus on the task at hand and exclude the other abilities. Super-human senses could be reached when you consciously ignore other abilities. The more we're able to focus, the more effortlessly our brains can create strong 3-D images - at least where spatial perception is concerned.

More people trying

This idea points to an age-old belief that if you lose one or more senses, the remaining abilities become hyper-acute. Ben Underwood and Terry Garrett are examples. They are both blind. Teenage Underwood is able to perfectly navigate his surroundings - even on a skateboard or roller blades - via echolocation. His brain is able to work together to create a sonar sense with clicking, just like a bat or dolphin. It is also possible for Underwood and Garrett to play video games. All they need is the sound of the game.

As scientists like Dr. Voytek continue to develop their understanding of how the brain and our senses work, we'll be that much closer to understanding how we can acquire the mega senses that often lie dormant within.


CBS News

Oscillatory Thoughts



Ben Underwood has overcome his blindness without surgery