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Image Analysis for Microelectronic Retinal Prosthesis

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3 Author(s)

By way of extracellular, stimulating electrodes, a microelectronic retinal prosthesis aims to render discrete, luminous spots-so-called phosphenes-in the visual field, thereby providing a phosphene image (PI) as a rudimentary remediation of profound blindness. As part thereof, a digital camera, or some other photosensitive array, captures frames, frames are analyzed, and phosphenes are actuated accordingly by way of modulated charge injections. Here, we present a method that allows the assessment of image analysis schemes for integration with a prosthetic device, that is, the means of converting the captured image (high resolution) to modulated charge injections (low resolution). We use the mutual-information function to quantify the amount of information conveyed to the PI observer (device implantee), while accounting for the statistics of visual stimuli. We demonstrate an effective scheme involving overlapping, Gaussian kernels, and discuss extensions of the method to account for short-term visual memory in observers, and their perceptual errors of omission and commission.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 1 )