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Learning prosthetic vision: a virtual-reality study

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4 Author(s)
S. C. Chen ; Graduate Sch. of Biomed. Eng., Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia ; L. E. Hallum ; N. H. Lovell ; G. J. Suaning

Acceptance of prosthetic vision will be heavily dependent on the ability of recipients to form useful information from such vision. Training strategies to accelerate learning and maximize visual comprehension would need to be designed in the light of the factors affecting human learning under prosthetic vision. Some of these potential factors were examined in a visual acuity study using the Landolt C optotype under virtual-reality simulation of prosthetic vision. Fifteen normally sighted subjects were tested for 10-20 sessions. Potential learning factors were tested at p<0.05 with regression models. Learning was most evident across-sessions, though 17% of sessions did express significant within-session trends. Learning was highly concentrated toward a critical range of optotype sizes, and subjects were less capable in identifying the closed optotype (a Landolt C with no gap, forming a closed annulus). Training for implant recipients should target these critical sizes and the closed optotype to extend the limit of visual comprehension. Although there was no evidence that image processing affected overall learning, subjects showed varying personal preferences.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 3 )