Health Bionic eyes implanted in blind patients

The Helper

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Bionic eyes have been implanted in British patients for the first time offering hope to hundreds of thousands of blind people.

Two blind patients underwent the procedure, which surgeons say 'is straight out of science fiction', at Moorfields Eye Hospital in central London last week and are said to be "doing well".

Surgeons implanted an electronic device into the back of the eye to allow the patients to distinguish objects as pictures made up of spots of light.

The device works with a tiny camera mounted in a pair of glasses which transmits a wireless signal via a small processor on a belt into a receiver and a panel of electrodes placed in the back of the eye.

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BlargIAmDead

New Member
I take from the reference to "Retinitis Pigmentosa, in which vision gradually deteriorates over the years"...that this device is only being used for people who used to have sight, and lost it at some point in their life.

It would be interesting to see what happens (if anything) when a person blind from birth has a "bionic eye". With no previous experience of vision, how would they interpret the signals? Would they sense it as pictures, like sighted people? As sounds or textures? As trees walking?
 

ShadowTek

New Member
I take from the reference to "Retinitis Pigmentosa, in which vision gradually deteriorates over the years"...that this device is only being used for people who used to have sight, and lost it at some point in their life.

It would be interesting to see what happens (if anything) when a person blind from birth has a "bionic eye". With no previous experience of vision, how would they interpret the signals? Would they sense it as pictures, like sighted people? As sounds or textures? As trees walking?
I remember reading/hearing a story, I think on NPR, about a guy that was born blind and later had some surgery to partially enable his sight. He described the experience of first sight as being a confusing, overwhelming jumble of sensation. He would have to repeatedly touch everything that he saw in order to relate the visual perceptions to "his known reality".

Visually interpreting concepts of depth were very confusing to him. He found it hard to understand how something could be both big and small depending on how far you are away from it.

He said that he was many times overwhelmed when walking in public places, and that he would often find it easier to just close his eyes and use his cane.

Ironically, he had a follow up surgery to improve his vision and ended up becoming completely blind again.
 
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