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Again, I think there is a trade off. People who are blind or deaf often develop an acuity of their other senses that is far greater than that of a sighted or hearing person. So I’m not sure it’s accurate to say that someone able to use all their senses is at an inherent advantage in intelligence over someone who is not. Instead, I’d think about the different ways people absorb knowledge and how to balance the tradeoffs.

By way of personal example, I recently learned that I have a rare condition in which I cannot produce mental visual images. I only recently learned that other people literally see things in their mind’s eye. I do not. This is clearly a deficit in some ways and I feel the loss of it now that I know others have this ability. At the same time, it goes a long way to explaining my intense presence in the moment, my constant narration of events and the scene around me, and the rich vocabulary I’ve developed. Things that other people see in pictures in their mind, I see in words that feel so real that I could touch, smell and see them. I’ve cultivated a different kind of intelligence as a result, but I would not say it is lesser.



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