Visual perception elicited by electrical stimulation of retina in blind humans

Mark S. Humayun, Eugene De Juan, Gislin Dagnelie, Robert J. Greenberg, Roy H. Propst, D. Howard Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of bypassing damaged photoreceptors and electrically stimulating the remaining viable retinal layers to provide limited visual input to patients who are blind because of severe photoreceptor degeneration. Methods: In the operating room with the patient under local anesthesia, focal electrical stimulation of the retinal surface with brief biphasic pulses was performed using small probes inserted through the sclera. The procedure was performed in five subjects who had little or no light perception. Three subjects had retinitis pigmentosa, one had age- related macular degeneration, and one had unspecified retinal degeneration from birth. Results: Stimulation elicited visual perception of a spot of light (phosphene). Subjects who previously had useful vision accurately localized the phosphenes according to the retinal area stimulated. Two subjects could track the movement of the stimulating electrode by reporting movement of the elicited phosphene, and could perceive two simultaneous phosphenes on independent stimulation with two electrodes. In a resolution test, one of the subjects with no light perception in his left eye resolved phosphenes at 1.75° center-to-center distance (ie, 4/200 OS visual acuity). Conclusions: Local electrical stimulation of the retinal surface in patients blind from outer retinal disease results in focal light perception that seems to arise from the stimulated area. Such findings in an acute experiment warrant further research into the possibility of prolonged retinal stimulation, improved resolution, and ultimately, an intraocular visual prosthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-46
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Ophthalmology
Volume114
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1996

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Phosphenes
Visual Perception
Electric Stimulation
Retina
Light
Electrodes
Visual Prosthesis
Retinal Diseases
Retinal Degeneration
Sclera
Retinitis Pigmentosa
Macular Degeneration
Local Anesthesia
Operating Rooms
Visual Acuity
Parturition
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

Cite this

Humayun, M. S., De Juan, E., Dagnelie, G., Greenberg, R. J., Propst, R. H., & Phillips, D. H. (1996). Visual perception elicited by electrical stimulation of retina in blind humans. Archives of Ophthalmology, 114(1), 40-46.

Visual perception elicited by electrical stimulation of retina in blind humans. / Humayun, Mark S.; De Juan, Eugene; Dagnelie, Gislin; Greenberg, Robert J.; Propst, Roy H.; Phillips, D. Howard.

In: Archives of Ophthalmology, Vol. 114, No. 1, 01.1996, p. 40-46.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Humayun, MS, De Juan, E, Dagnelie, G, Greenberg, RJ, Propst, RH & Phillips, DH 1996, 'Visual perception elicited by electrical stimulation of retina in blind humans', Archives of Ophthalmology, vol. 114, no. 1, pp. 40-46.
Humayun MS, De Juan E, Dagnelie G, Greenberg RJ, Propst RH, Phillips DH. Visual perception elicited by electrical stimulation of retina in blind humans. Archives of Ophthalmology. 1996 Jan;114(1):40-46.
Humayun, Mark S. ; De Juan, Eugene ; Dagnelie, Gislin ; Greenberg, Robert J. ; Propst, Roy H. ; Phillips, D. Howard. / Visual perception elicited by electrical stimulation of retina in blind humans. In: Archives of Ophthalmology. 1996 ; Vol. 114, No. 1. pp. 40-46.
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