|MadSci Network: Neuroscience|
Creating artificial vision and giving people sight are two entirely different things. "Artificial vision" is a broad term that encompasses video technology, so we've had "AV" for a long time now. The hard part is sending the information from a chip to a person's optic nerve in readable form. Your photoreceptors and other retinal neurons are extremely complex and their interactions are even more complex. A single ganglion cell may well receive inputs from 100's of photoreceptors and integrate that information appropriately. The problem is sending that info to the ganglion cells in an appropriate form. Most appropriate would be neurochemical, but that will be years away. The only way to do this now is to impose a crude electrical "image" on the existing retinal cells. However, there is no guarantee that they will interpret this information correctly, if at all. As far as seeing like an animal goes, we already do this to a certain degree. We see much the same as many mammals. How we perceive the images sent to our brains is something that we don't have a handle on.
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