A novel type of visual-prosthesis technology with cortical stimulation

Ichiro Kuriki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In patients with visual loss that is associated with age-related diseases, it has been demonstrated there is a loss of vast amounts of information from the environment. As a way to compensate for such visual losses, many laboratories have examined and are trying to develop artificial vision systems. However, artificial vision based on retinal or optic nerve stimulation systems are at a disadvantage, as they can only provide lower-resolution images according to the limited areas of stimulation. Artificial vision systems with cortical stimulation have a clear advantage in providing high spatial resolution images, as the spatial density required for the stimulation is identical. In contrast, previous systems that were used could not stimulate visual areas with high spatial density due to problems with the surface electrodes. Here, we propose a novel cortical-stimulating system that uses a photosensitive chemical with an ion channel function, channelrhodopsin-2. After introduction of channelrhodopsin-2 into the visual cortex, an optical pattern stimulator is then employed. This study also proposes using a calibration method to solve the inconsistencies that are often seen for the visual percept between the natural and artificial vision systems. This is a problem that is inherent in all types of artificial vision systems, and one that can be avoided by simply introducing psychophysical methods for rehabilitation and optimization of the visual systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-406
Number of pages11
JournalNeuro-Ophthalmology Japan
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec 1


  • Artificial vision
  • Channelrhodopsin
  • Cortical stimulation
  • Psychophysics
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Neurology


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