Admission test for the degree course in medicine and surgery
In 1688 the Irish philosopher William Molyneux asked whether a blind person who regained their vision could recognise by sight an object they had previously only known by touch. Richard Held and Pawan Sinha of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology attempted to answer this question in an experiment with five children in India who had just had successful surgery which gave them their sight for the first time. Within 48 hours of the operation the children were asked to feel a toy block without looking at it. They were then shown two blocks, one of which they had touched. They identified the orginal block just over half of the time and this is only a little better than guesswork. Recognising touched objects by sight alone improved within days.