Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neurosurg Focus. 2009 Jul;27(1):E6. doi: 10.3171/2009.4.FOCUS0986.

Getting signals into the brain: visual prosthetics through thalamic microstimulation.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. pezaris.john@mgh.harvard.edu

Abstract

Common causes of blindness are diseases that affect the ocular structures, such as glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, and macular degeneration, rendering the eyes no longer sensitive to light. The visual pathway, however, as a predominantly central structure, is largely spared in these cases. It is thus widely thought that a device-based prosthetic approach to restoration of visual function will be effective and will enjoy similar success as cochlear implants have for restoration of auditory function. In this article the authors review the potential locations for stimulation electrode placement for visual prostheses, assessing the anatomical and functional advantages and disadvantages of each. Of particular interest to the neurosurgical community is placement of deep brain stimulating electrodes in thalamic structures that has shown substantial promise in an animal model. The theory of operation of visual prostheses is discussed, along with a review of the current state of knowledge. Finally, the visual prosthesis is proposed as a model for a general high-fidelity machine-brain interface.

PMID:
19569894
PMCID:
PMC2848996
DOI:
10.3171/2009.4.FOCUS0986
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center