Electrical Stimulation of the Retina to Produce Artificial Vision

Annual Review of Vision Science
James D WeilandMark S Humayun

Abstract

Retinal prostheses aim to restore vision to blind individuals suffering from retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. These devices function by electrically stimulating surviving retinal neurons, whose activation is interpreted by the brain as a visual percept. Many prostheses are currently under development. They are categorized as epiretinal, subretinal, and suprachoroidal prostheses on the basis of the placement of the stimulating microelectrode array. Each can activate ganglion cells through direct or indirect stimulation. The response of retinal neurons to these modes of stimulation are discussed in detail and are placed in context of the visual percept they are likely to evoke. This article further reviews challenges faced by retinal prosthesis and discusses potential solutions to address them.

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Related Concepts

Blindness, Transient
Electric Stimulation Technique
Implantable Stimulation Electrodes
Microelectrodes
Retinal Diseases
Visual Prosthesis
Brain
Medical Devices
Retina
Retinitis Pigmentosa

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