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Seeing with Sound: Using Audio to Activate the Brain’s Visual Cortex is Newest Episode of “On Tech & Vision with Dr. Cal Roberts

February 3, 2022

Podcast Explores How Technology Is Making Life Better for People with Vision Loss

NEW YORK (January 27, 2022) – Every day, people who are blind or visually impaired use their hearing to compensate for vision loss. But when we lose our vision, can we access our visual cortex via other senses? We call this ability for the brain to change its activity “plasticity,” and brain plasticity is an area of active research. In this episode of “On Tech & Vision with Dr. Cal Roberts,” we explore how, through sensory substitution, audio feedback can in some cases stimulate a user’s visual cortex, allowing a user to — without sight — achieve something close to visual perception.

We hear from Erik Weihenmayer, a world-class mountain climber, kayaker and founder of No Barriers, who lost his vision as a teenager due to retinoschisis and brings us to the summit of Everest by describing what it sounds like. He explains how his hearing helps him navigate his amazing outdoor adventures safely.  

Dr. Calvin W. Roberts, president and CEO of Lighthouse Guild and host of the podcast, speaks with Peter Meier, the creator of The vOICe, an experimental technology that converts visual information into sound and has been shown to activate users’ visual cortices, especially as users train on the technology and master how to interpret the audio feedback. We’ll hear an example of what users of The vOICe hear when it translates a visual image of scissors into audio.

Technology is transforming the world for people with vision loss. Season 2 of Lighthouse Guild’s podcast series continues to dig deep into the big ideas that are making it possible. “On Tech & Vision with Dr. Cal Roberts,” is available online at and for downloading on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Podcasts iHeartRadio Podcasts and Twitter: @LighthouseGld #OnTechVision. The podcast has almost 6,000 downloads since it launched in 2020.

About Lighthouse Guild

Lighthouse Guild provides exceptional services that inspire people who are visually impaired to attain their goals. We provide coordinated care for eye health, vision rehabilitation and behavioral health as well as related services. For more information, visit

Press Contact:   Bryan Dotson, Manners Dotson Group


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