Learning to See Again with a Bionic Eye
LocationSage Center, Psychology 1312
Degenerative retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration cause irreversible vision loss in more than 10 million people worldwide. Although there is no cure for these diseases, advances in medicine and technology are enabling the possibility of restoring sight to the blind. Analogous to cochlear implants, retinal prostheses ('bionic eyes') use a grid of electrodes to stimulate surviving retinal cells in order to evoke visual percepts. However, a major outstanding challenge in the use of these devices is translating electrode stimulation into a code that the visual system can interpret. In this talk, I will present recent work from our research group (bionicvisionlab.org) to develop "virtual patients" that demonstrate what the world would look like with a bionic eye, and outline future strategies to improve this promising medical device technology.