[Cyborg] Camera to brain blindness treatment

Eric Boyd mrericboyd at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 18 15:27:32 UTC 2012

Wow, moving right along!  The bits are coming for your brain!

I wonder how they actually know what the brain sees?  I mean, she 
presents these mock up images of what the brain sees under each 
treatment option, but it's not so obvious to me how they actually know 
that.  Problem of consciousness and all that.

I also know that while the retina does do some encoding of the signal, 
it doesn't reach the level she talks about at the beginning (this is an 
image of a baby), it's more like edge detection, motion detection, 
contrast & color processing, and other low-level tasks.  Which is why 
it's easily to duplicate with a chip: it doesn't depend on any knowledge 
stored in the brain, it's very algorithmic, and everyones retina 
implements the same thing.  The visual part of the brain (near the back, 
at the other end of the optic nerve) actually does most of the heavy 
lifting in terms of pattern recognition - and it's a much harder thing 
to model, since it does depend on your knowledge of "trees", "cats", 
etc... she also fails to mention that people born blind probably won't 
benefit much from this treatment, since they never developed the visual 
cortex properly.  Getting signals to it would be only the first stage in 
a much more elaborate treatment.

So yeah, in the end, I'm wondering - what did they actually do with the 
animals (or did they test with humans?) to verify their work?  Did they 
do object recognition tests?  Or what?

I found some links, but don't have time to read them today:


Maybe someone can read more and chime in with a less fluffy version of 
her presentation?


On 1/18/12 9:19 AM, Alan Majer wrote:
> Interesting TED video on taping the optic nerve to send camera info 
> directly to the brain:
>   http://www.ideaconnection.com/innovation-videos/345-camera-to-brain-blindness-treatment.html?ref=nl011812
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> Cyborg mailing list
> Cyborg at lists.noisebridge.net
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