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Neuron. 2014 Jul 2;83(1):87-92. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.04.044. Epub 2014 Jun 5.

High-fidelity reproduction of spatiotemporal visual signals for retinal prosthesis.

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Systems Neurobiology Laboratories, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Bioengineering Department, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.
AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, 30-059 Krakow, Poland.
Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of California, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.
Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA.
Systems Neurobiology Laboratories, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Department of Neurosurgery and Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address:


Natural vision relies on spatiotemporal patterns of electrical activity in the retina. We investigated the feasibility of veridically reproducing such patterns with epiretinal prostheses. Multielectrode recordings and visual and electrical stimulation were performed on populations of identified ganglion cells in isolated peripheral primate retina. Electrical stimulation patterns were designed to reproduce recorded waves of activity elicited by a moving visual stimulus. Electrical responses in populations of ON parasol cells exhibited high spatial and temporal precision, matching or exceeding the precision of visual responses measured in the same cells. Computational readout of electrical and visual responses produced similar estimates of stimulus speed, confirming the fidelity of electrical stimulation for biologically relevant visual signals. These results suggest the possibility of producing rich spatiotemporal patterns of retinal activity with a prosthesis and that temporal multiplexing may aid in reproducing the neural code of the retina.

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