Live stream: Towards the development of a cortically-based visual neuroprosthesis
Motivated by the success of cochlear implants for deaf patients, we are now facing the goal of creating a visual neuroprosthesis designed to interface with the occipital cortex as a means through which a limited but useful sense of vision could be restored in profoundly blind patients. We will review the most important challenges regarding this neuroprosthetic approach and emphasise the need for basic human psychophysical research on the best way of presenting complex stimulating patterns through multiple microelectrodes.
We will present our recent results regarding the implantation and explantation of intracortical microelectrodes in blind volunteers. Our results, conducted over a six-month period, demonstrate the safety and efficacy of chronic intracortical microstimulation via a large number of electrodes in humans, showing its high potential for restoring functional vision in the blind. These findings support our earlier findings in monkey experiments and suggest that several arrays of penetrating electrodes might form the basis for a cortically based solution for sight restoration in individuals with profound blindness.