With the topic post and first few replies in mind, I offer the following:
I think a case can be made that vision is probably 10% of the actual data entering our eyes at a given moment and 90% visual memory. That might offer an insight into some examples of 'seeing with eyes closed'.
The details of this 'case' might consist of some info Laura provides in the Wave chapter on addiction dealing with relationships between the various parts of the brain and levels of processing which includes the limbic system's involvement. Additionally, Gabor Mate is noted for describing how human infants are born pre-mature, requiring a few more years for their brain circuitry to develop.
In fact, up to about 6 months old, an infant is said to be naturally able to distinguish or produce every sound in virtually every human language. Within a mere four months, however, nearly two thirds of this capacity has disappeared or been been diminished. It makes sense from the viewpoint of 'conservation' of resources, and this diminishment of ability is accompanied by alterations in cerebral tissue as the brain becomes 'adapted' to its immediate environment. Brain cells seem to be measured against the requirements of the physical and interpersonal environment where maybe 50% of neurons found useful thrive. The other 50% which remain unexercised are perhaps literally forced to die off. Its like the floor plan underlying the infant mind is crafted on-site to fit an existing framework of community.
So, for the first few years of life, the social experience and immediate physical environment literally shapes cerebral morphology. It guides the wiring of the brain through the most intensely formative years of human life, determining, among other things, which of the brain's sections will be enlarged, and which will shrink.
So, once the neural circuitry has been established and the child has been trained to see what everyone else sees and to ignore what everyone else ignores, visual memory of what has been seen before can be put to use. IOW, conservation can take over the majority of visual function too. Visual memory does not rely on the eyes being open, thus 'seeing' (to some extent) with the eyes closed.
Does this make sense to anyone else?