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Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2001;3:145-68.

Visual prostheses.

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Center for Neural Interfaces, Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.


The development of man-made systems to restore functional vision in the profoundly blind has recently undergone a renaissance that has been fueled by a combination of celebrity and government interest, advances in the field of bioengineering, and successes with existing neuroprosthetic systems. This chapter presents the underlying physiologic principles of artificial vision, discusses three contemporary approaches to restoring functional vision in the blind, and concludes by presenting several relevant questions to vision prostheses. While there has been significant progress in the individual components constituting an artificial vision system, the remaining challenge of integrating these components with each other and the nervous system does not lie strictly in the realm of neuroscience, medicine, or engineering but at the interface of all three. In spite of the apparent complexity of an artificial vision system, it is not unreasonable to be optimistic about its eventual success.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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