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High-dimensional electrical stimulation for visual prosthesis

Objective

Future advanced neuroprostheses will need to transfer orders of magnitude more information to the brain than currently possible. This is most urgently needed in visual prostheses. Improving the electrode count will be part of the solution: a next generation of visual prosthesis will most probably be based on the insertion of over 1000 microelectrodes in the visual cortex. Still, current visual prostheses use very simple stimulation patterns, in which at most the stimulation amplitude is modulated.
We propose to explore a second, complementary approach to brute scaling: using the available electrodes more efficiently by applying sophisticated stimulation protocols. Our main objective is to achieve a fundamental breakthrough in the spatial resolution of electrical brain stimulation to restore vision, obtaining a resolution of at least 20X the number of electrodes that are physically present.

The vast number of possible stimulation combinations calls for a radically new research methodology, integrating modeling and state-of-the-art neuroscience methods at every spatial scale (from single neurons to the entire brain) in a closed-loop optimization process. With this combination of techniques, we will study which stimulation patterns effectively induce sufficient neural activations in higher areas (i.e. ignition) and cause visual perceptions. Thus, we will be able to explore the vast, hyperdimensional search space of possible stimulation patterns, and produce a set of in vivo tested stimulation patterns that are capable of eliciting distinguishable physiological and behavioral responses.

The obtained order-of-magnitude improvement in resolution will spur the development of breakthrough prostheses that will be widely adopted by blind patients, and bring the field of neural interfacing to the next level.

Coordinator

KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Net EU contribution
€ 841 073,00
Address
Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven
Belgium

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Region
Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00

Participants (3)

UNIVERSIDAD POMPEU FABRA
Spain
Net EU contribution
€ 500 150,00
Address
Placa De La Merce, 10-12
08002 Barcelona

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Region
Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
REVISION IMPLANT
Belgium
Net EU contribution
€ 496 875,00
Address
Blandenstraat 31
3053 Oud-heverlee

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Leuven
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00
TERMESZETTUDOMANYI KUTATOKOZPONT
Hungary
Net EU contribution
€ 267 130,00
Address
Magyar Tudosok Korutja 2
1117 Budapest

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Region
Közép-Magyarország Budapest Budapest
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
€ 0,00