Spatiotemporal integration of visual stimuli and its relevance to the use of a divisional power supply scheme for retinal prosthesis

Yueh Chun Tsai, José Jiun Shian Wu, Po Kang Lin, Bo Jyun Lin, Pin Shiou Wang, Ching Hsiang Liu, Chung Yu Wu, Chuan Chin Chiao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

A wireless photovoltaic retinal prosthesis is currently being studied with the aim of providing prosthetic vision to patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The major challenge of a photovoltaic device is its limited power efficiency. Our retinal prosthetic design implements a unique divisional power supply scheme (DPSS) system that provides the electrical power generated by all of the solar cells to only a subset of electrodes at any moment in time. The aim of the present study was to systematically characterize the spatiotemporal integration performance of the system under various DPSS conditions using human subjects and a psychophysical approach. A 16x16 pixels LED array controlled by Arduino was used to simulate the output signal of the DPSS design, and human performance under different visual stimulations at various update frequencies was then used to assess the spatiotemporal capability of retinal prostheses. The results showed that the contrast polarity of the image, image brightness, and division number influenced the lower limit of the update frequency of the DPSS system, while, on the other hand, visual angle, ambient light level, and stimulation order did not affect performance significantly. Pattern recognition by visual persistence with spatiotemporal integration of multiple frames of sparse dots is a feasible approach in retinal prosthesis design. These findings provide an insight into how to optimize a photovoltaic retinal prosthesis using a DPSS design with an appropriate update frequency for reliable pattern recognition. This will help the development of a wireless device able to restore vision to RP and AMD patients in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0228861
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Feb 2020

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