Neuroscientists are Trying to Make Blinds See through their Mind’s Eye
Doing the impossible has always been the impulse of a curious and creative mind. For scientists, these traits are essential to discover the unknown and stretch the limits of what could be accomplished. For the researchers at the University of Texas, it is to let a human “mind’s eye” to see things. They are working on electrically stimulating the visual cortex of the human brain to create simple images and shapes.
If successful, it could create a visual prosthetic device that can essentially help the blind to see again. What is even better news is that such a device is not more than five years away from being available. Human brain and mind, both the physical and the bio-chemical, has been very complex to understand and to deal with. The neuroscientists have been working on it for years only to get only an inch ahead into what they are trying to achieve, which is a big step actually.
Some neurologists believe that even the visually impaired people can experience lucid hallucinations, which is known as Charles Bonnet syndrome. Thus, neuroscientists are trying to find a way out of stimulating images through electrically impulses. These images in the brain actually are seen when artificial generated phosphenes or flash of light is seen.
If successfully comprehended and dealt with, it could lead to allowing blinds to see simple images, shapes, letters and numbers. Another obstacle in this is however to make a biocompatible device that can work smoothly without creating any more complications when applied. Further details can be found in the journal Nature.