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J Neurophysiol. 2005 Mar;93(3):1659-70. Epub 2004 Sep 1.

Visuotopic mapping through a multichannel stimulating implant in primate V1.

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Deptartment of Psychology, University of Chicago, 5848 S. University Ave., Green 314, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


We report on our efforts to establish an animal model for the development and testing of a cortical visual prostheses. One-hundred-fifty-two electrodes were implanted in the primary visual cortex of a rhesus monkey. The electrodes were made from iridium with an activated iridium oxide film, which has a large charge capacity for a given surface area, and insulated with parylene-C. One-hundred-fourteen electrodes were functional after implantation. The activity of small (2-3) neuronal clusters was first recorded to map the visually responsive region corresponding to each electrode. The animal was then trained in a memory (delayed) saccade task, first with a visual target, then to a target defined by direct cortical stimulation with coordinates specified by the stimulating electrode's mapped receptive field. The SD of saccade endpoints was approximately 2.5 larger for electrically stimulated versus visual saccades; nevertheless, when trial-to-trial scatter was averaged out, the correlation between saccade end points and receptive field locations was highly significant and approached unity after several months of training. Five electrodes were left unused until the monkey was fully trained; when these were introduced, the receptive field-saccade correlations were high on the first day of use (R = 0.85, P = 0.03 for angle, R = 0.98, P < 0.001 for eccentricity), indicating that the monkey had not learned to perform the task empirically by memorizing reward zones. The results of this experiment suggest the potential for rigorous behavioral testing of cortical visual prostheses in the macaque.

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