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Title: Improved visual performance in letter perception through edge orientation encoding in a retinal prosthesis simulation
Authors: Kiral-Kornek, Isabell
O'Sullivan-Green, Elma
Savage, Craig
McCarthy, Chris
Grayden, David
Burkitt, Anthony
Keywords: visual acuity
retinal implant
visual psychophysics
letter recognition
Issue Date: Oct-2014
Publisher: IOP Publishing
Citation: Kiral-Kornek, F. I., E. O'Sullivan-Green, C. O. Savage, C. McCarthy, D. B. Grayden and A. N. Burkitt (2014). Improved visual performance in letter perception through edge orientation encoding in a retinal prosthesis simulation. Journal of Neural Engineering 11(6): 066002.
Abstract: Objective. Stimulation strategies for retinal prostheses predominately seek to directly encode image brightness values rather than edge orientations. Recent work suggests that the generation of oriented elliptical phosphenes may be possible by controlling interactions between neighboring electrodes. Based on this, we propose a novel stimulation strategy for prosthetic vision that extracts edge orientation information from the intensity image and encodes it as oriented elliptical phosphenes. We test the hypothesis that encoding edge orientation via oriented elliptical phosphenes leads to better alphabetic letter recognition than standard intensity-based encoding. Approach. We conduct a psychophysical study with simulated phosphene vision with 12 normal-sighted volunteers. The two stimulation strategies were compared with variations of letter size, electrode drop-out and spatial offsets of phosphenes. Main results. Mean letter recognition accuracy was significantly better with the new proposed stimulation strategy (65%) compared to direct grayscale encoding (47%). All examined parameters-stimulus size, phosphene dropout, and location shift-were found to influence the performance, with significant two-way interactions between phosphene dropout and stimulus size as well as between phosphene dropout and phosphene location shift. The analysis delivers a model of perception performance. Significance. Displaying available directional information to an implant user may improve their visual performance. We present a model for designing a stimulation strategy under the constraints of existing retinal prostheses that can be exploited by retinal implant developers to strategically employ oriented phosphenes.
URI: http://repository.bionicsinstitute.org:8080/handle/123456789/135
Appears in Collections:Bionic Vision Research Publications

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