T. Schanze1*; N. Greve1; M. Wilms1; M. Eger1; R. Eckhorn1; L. Hesse2
1. Physics Grp Neurophysics, Philipps Univ, Marburg, Germany
2. Ophthalmology, Philipps Univ, Marburg, Germany
A retina implant for restoring visual perception in patients that are blind due to photoreceptor loss should not only evoke phosphenes but should also generate cortical representations of form and motion.
Method: In anaesthetised cats we inserted fibre electrodes through a small scleral incision onto the retinal surface for stimulation. Alternatively, we implanted foil electrodes. Cortical activities were recorded in A17/18. Retinal and cortical electrodes were adjusted to corresponding sites. For electrical stimulation we used charge balanced impulses (50-1000 s, 1-500 A). Basic form stimuli of various sizes and shapes were generated by a selective and synchronous activation of retinal electrodes. Movement stimuli were produced by translating the form stimuli to different retinal positions. From cortical recordings we computed stimulus related spatio-temporal activation profiles for the estimation of the relations between stimulation distance and form resolution and between stimulus velocity and spatio-temporal resolution.
Results: Electrical retina stimulation yielded a spatial resolution of 1-5visual angle and a temporal resolution of about 20 ms. While spatial resolution depended on the stimulation current (the higher the current the broader the cortical activation) temporal resolution was correlated to the stimulation rate. We found that the measured spatio-temporal cortical activation profiles are commonly related to retinal form and motion stimuli.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that retina implant generated form and motion stimuli can be represented by cortical activities.
Supported by: BMBF grants 01 IN 501 F & 01 KP 0006