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Retinal Implants May Be Significantly Enhanced With New Software RRS feed

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  • Bonn University computer scientists have developed a computer program designed to improve the function of retinal implants. Initially, participants who received visual prosthesis implants were unable to distinguish even simple shapes, as the signals sent by camera through the implants were almost useless for the brain. To improve communication between the implants and the brain, Bonn University computer and neural scientists developed the "Retina Encoder," software that converts the camera signals and sends them to the retinal implant. The Retina Encoder uses a continuous process to learn how to change the camera output signal, through randomly selected "dialects" and variations of the picture, so that the patient can perceive the image more clearly. The encoder technology is currently being tested on volunteers with no site problems, but could be used on patients with implanted visual prostheses within a few months. Bonn University computer science professor Rolf Eckmiller said the artificial retina needs to learn to generate signals that the brain can use, and it is the ability to learn and adapt that makes the Retina Encoder unique.
    Wednesday, April 18, 2007 7:39 AM