The Scott Society welcomed Professor Dr Maurice Ptito for its first talk of 2018. Dr Ptito is a Professor of Visual Neuroscience at the University of Montreal in Canada.
Dr Maurice Ptito’s talk on the “Rewired Blind Brain” was very popular among Oundle pupils and other pupils and teachers who travelled from the Kettering Buccleach Academy, King’s School, Prince William School and The Peterborough School.
The lecture centred on an innovative treatment that enables the congenitally blind to “see” via the tongue’s taste buds. Dr Ptito presented the research that he has conducted with his colleague, Dr Ron Kupers (University of Copenhagen), that has used a sensory substitution device called a Tongue Display Unit that can convert visual images into electro-tactile pulses applied to the tongue, which then initiates a process that enables the blind to "see" using the tongue as a portal to the visual cortex. This approach holds great promise for the blind in improving their quality of life, helping them to navigate freely in their environment.
Dr Ptito is an invited professor at the Danish Research Centre on Medical Imaging, University of Aarhus, The University of Sydney, and Harvard University. A passion for the challenge of discovery has fuelled a career spanning 40 years. His current research is looking at the effects of cannabis on the developing brain.
Pupils also recorded an interview with Dr Ptito about his career and future plans, which will be aired on Oundle’s pupil-run radio station, OSCAR during their next broadcast.