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Vision Res. 1992 Jul;32(7):1367-72.

Mobility performance with a pixelized vision system.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84112.


A visual prosthesis, based on electrical stimulation of the visual cortex, has been suggested as a means for partially restoring functional vision in the blind. The prosthesis would create a pixelized visual sense consisting of punctate spots of light (phosphenes). The present study investigated the feasibility of achieving visually-guided mobility with such a visual sense. Psychophysical experiments were conducted on normally sighted human subjects, who were required to walk through a maze which included a series of obstacles, while their visual input was restricted to information from a pixelized vision simulator. Walking speed and number of body contacts with obstacles and walls were measured as a function of pixel number, pixel spacing, object minification, and field of view. The results indicate that a 25 x 25 array of pixels distributed within the foveal visual area could provide useful visually guided mobility in environments not requiring a high degree of pattern recognition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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