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Vision Res. 2000;40(13):1785-95.

Electrical multisite stimulation of the isolated chicken retina.

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NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute, Markwiesenstrasse 55, D-72770, Reutlingen, Germany.


Visual prostheses such as subretinal implants are intended for electrical multisite excitation of the retinal network. To investigate relevant issues like spatial resolution and operational range, we have developed an in vitro method using microelectrode arrays to stimulate isolated retinae. Ganglion cell activity in the chicken retina evoked by distally applied spatial voltage patterns consisted of fast bursts, transient inhibition and delayed discharges, and depended on the amount, location and spatial pattern of the injected charge. The response was altered or disappeared when synaptic transmission was blocked. Our results indicate that shape perception and object location can be partially achieved with subretinal electrical multisite stimulation.

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