Brief summary of the third year of life of the OgIT experimental subject.
The creature is finally able to communicate with us efficiently. He talks like a normal sapiens, although he still doesn’t understand many terms. He asks a lot of questions, he’s very curious, and for now he seems to have a good memory and a good kinesthetic learning ability.
We have started the mental development process now, we are teaching him how to read and count, and as expected his learning speed is well beyond the norm.
This year we also started sensory training. We made him go through periods without one of his senses so that his body could develop the others better.
The first two months we deprived him of sight. Inhibiting his eyes was simple, and for the creature it was a tragedy. He released a huge amount of alarm pheromones, and when he noticed that they were useless he also started screaming and calling for help vocally. This didn’t restore her sight of course, so he forced himself to get used to the new situation.
We made him move constantly blind. We started by testing his memory and balance by making him climb unstable and self-propelled platforms, and moving forward we tested his ability to use his other senses to survive and adapt to increasingly hostile and punitive environments.
It was during this period that his body performed the highest and most complex forms of adaptation.
In a few days, the skin has developed receptors capable of perceiving both smells and flavors. At first it was a very light thing, but the more the days passed, the more precise the skin became in that job.
We do not know if the skin registers the taste of food in the same ways the tongue do, nor do we know if a food touched by a hand has the same taste as when touched by the tongue, but the creature is now able to understand if something is sweet, sour or salty just by touching it.
The olfactory receptors that he has on the skin are extremely powerful too, they can even perceive the pheromones left by other animal species, sapiens in primis.
Since the body developed these two methods of acquiring information that the eyes no longer gave it, the lack of vision was no longer a problem for the creature.
After the first two and a half months, we gave him his sight again and we took away his hearing. The creature reacted in a more contained manner this time … he asked fewer questions than before and after a few days he also behaved as if in reality he had never lost the use of his ears.
The truth is that his skin was becoming hypersensitive to the vibrations of the air. Now a whisper that was previously not perceptible by his ears is perceived by the body, which means that the deactivation of the eardrums did not cause any real sensory deprivation: he was able to hear anyway, he simply did it through another part of the body.
Thanks to this period of deafness, what he could not hear before is now perfectly audible for him. For example we have seen him point to a mosquito several meters away from him, a mosquito that he heard flying when his caregivers could not even see it with their eyes.
During those two months he started developing his own echolocation system. Snapping his fingers or his tongue allowed him to understand the distance and shape of objects around him. We therefore started training him from this point of view too.
We blindfolded him and took him into a room, and there we asked him to name the objects present without having to see or touch them. Initially he couldn’t, but he’s now able to identify many simple things, such as glasses or bottles.
Initially we were worried that his body was exaggerating, making the whole skin a huge ear could cause hearing discomfort, but apparently he can control the sensitivity of his skin. If he’s in a noisy place he brings the sensitivity to around zero, while if he’s in a quiet place he increases it.
If desired, he’s also able to lower the sensitivity of only one part of the body and increase it in the other. For example we made him place his right hand on the chest of a caregiver to hear her heart, and the left one we placed it on a stereo set at full volume.
To hear the sound of the caregiver’s heart, the creature lowered the level of sensitivity to vibrations throughout the body (so as to be almost deaf) but he keeping it high only on the palm of the hand resting on the caregiver’s chest, and in doing so he was able to hear the heartbeat but not the music coming out of the stereo.
Having restored his hearing (now superfluous) we deprived him of smell for the next two and a half months, also inhibiting the olfactory abilities of his skin to see if his body would have invented another way to adapt to this new situation.
This time the creature proved to have limits because not only did he suffer more than when we took his hearing, but he did not develop any particular adaptation systems, which made that time of year very painful for him.
He has adapted as any sapiens would tho. He compensated for the lack of smell with the sense of taste, which he did the other way around in the following two months, when we gave him back his sense of smell but took away the taste.
I remember that the deactivation of the taste buds (both those on the tongue and those on the skin) made him cry for the first time in his entire life. Eating without being able to taste the things he ate made him spend whole days with tears in his eyes. He did not scream or complain, he just cried, and when asked “why are you crying?” he replied “I’m hungry but I can’t eat”.
In reality he could feed himself without any problem, but not tasting the food confused him so much that he believed he was not doing it. He also spent many hours fasting during that time. He stopped chewing on toys, he stopped putting stones in his mouth, he stopped chasing insects or pets he found around, he also stopped licking the objects that were given to him (which he did to understand if was it worth it to eat them or not).
Thanks to this test we finally figured out how to punish him in case of transgression or disappointment. Depriving him of taste is the only thing that really brought him suffering, so much so that he reached a stage similar to depression after the first month and a half of deprivation; he spent most of his free time sleeping, and this was due to the fact that he ate less and less.
His happiness increased after two months of deprivation though. It is as if he knew that the taste would soon return to him, he was accustomed to these cycles of sensory deprivation, and even if we had never told him what was happening to him he sensed that the next lost sense would be the touch.
And so it was.
The days before losing it he looked at his hands with concern, he knew what was going to happen, but after losing it he reacted very well.
He became almost completely deaf without the ability to process the vibrations of the air with his skin, so he had to rely only on the eardrums to hear the world around him, and he also lost the use of echolocation and the ability to understand if something was hot or cold.
The thing that made him suffer the most was the loss of pleasure receptors. Caresses and pinches no longer had an effect on him, not even kisses or massages. But he could eat, and that made him smile again. The first thing he devoured was a basket full of strawberries, and he was so hungry that he even ate the basket … which in the days before the taste deprivation was no longer happening (especially because plastic is not used by his body, so he tends to ignore it).
At the end of the year we gave him back all his senses. It was a very productive year, because we pushed his body to develop his skin in an exceptional way, which now has a much greater usefulness than before. He has super hearing and super sense of smell, plus he can finally enjoy the taste of things without having to put them in his mouth.
In fact, by turning around in the hands a candy he has the opportunity to enjoy its sweetness indefinitely, because the sugar does not dissolve in saliva. Very often we see him holding things in his hand that he would like to eat, but which he does not eat: he passes them through all his fingers, then on his arms and also on his forehead and torso. He practically tastes them with his entire body, which is often unhygienic.
We must try to educate him from this point of view, we cannot allow him to go around making such scenes.
Anyway, next year we will proceed with a double sensory deprivation. We will take away two senses at a time. I’m curious to know how he will react, and if his body will evolve again or if it has already reached its limit.