According to some Japanese researchers, we are more similar to bats than we think: there is an unknown sixth sense that everyone can develop.
This is not the sixth sense as it is commonly understood, which all in all would consist in a kind of intuition: the ability, in short, to grasp things on the fly without being able to understand exactly how and why: "Inter will win the Scudetto this year, my sixth sense tells me so," someone may have said at the beginning of the football season.
No, the sixth sense of which the scientists of the Center for Information and Neural Networks in Osaka, Japan, speak, has a precise name, because it already exists in nature. It's just not associated with humans. It's "echolocation," which would make us more like, well, bats.
Why Japanese scientists are convinced we can develop an unknown sixth sense
The study by the Japanese researchers involved 15 volunteers, who were given two different devices and a pair of headphones. The equipment made it possible to send acoustic signals into a second room (not visible from the volunteers' room) and decipher the return waves bounced off two cylinders, which could be moving or still.
At the end of the test, participants were able to deduce, thanks to the timbre and frequency of the return sounds, the movement of objects in the invisible room. With a little practice, the 15 people tested were even able to identify the shape of the hidden object, especially if the object was in motion.
If the results of the study were to be verified, then we might be able to sense the presence of things in the dark, sort of like waking up in the middle of the night aware that someone is watching us.
How the Osaka researchers' discovery makes us a little more like bats
Nothing too different from what bats do. The tiny mammals, which are notoriously blind, emit high-frequency waves at different times and from different locations. Bouncing off surrounding surfaces, the ultrasound is then intercepted and used to recreate a mental image of the space all around.
For Miwa Sumiya, one of the leaders of the study, the success of the experiment could suggest new methods by which we can expand our perception of the world and increase not only "the understanding of the flexibility of our brain", but also "gain information about the strategies of perception of other species", concludes the expert.
About amazing research and experiments, there are those who argue that we can taste music. While at Stanford a software has been created that translates thoughts into writing.