White pixels have a strong pulse while black pixels give no signal. The control unit converts the image into a low resolution black, white and gray picture, which is then recreated as a square grid of electrodes — around the size of a postage stamp — on the lollipop. Each of the electrodes pulses according to how much light is in that area of the picture. It converts pictures into electrical pulses and it is placed on the tongue. Electrode array that is placed on the tongue 2.
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She has a device in her mouth, touching her tongue, and there are wires running from that device to the video camera. And when he suddenly rolls it in her direction, she puts out a hand to stop it. The blind woman saw the ball. Through her tongue. Well, not exactly through her tongue, but the device in her mouth sent visual input through her tongue in much the same way that seeing individuals receive visual input through the eyes.
In both cases, the initial sensory input mechanism -- the tongue or the eyes -- sends the visual data to the brain , where that data is processed and interpreted to form images. The brain then learns to interpret that sensory information as if it were being sent through the traditional channel for such data.
Advertisement Most of us are familiar with the augmentation or substitution of one sense for another. Eyeglasses are a typical example of sensory augmentation. Bach-y-Rita puts it this way The brain then recreates the images from analysis of the impulse patterns.
The multiple channels that carry sensory information to the brain, from the eyes, ears and skin, for instance, are set up in a similar manner to perform similar activities. All sensory information sent to the brain is carried by nerve fibers in the form of patterns of impulses, and the impulses end up in the different sensory centers of the brain for interpretation.
To substitute one sensory input channel for another, you need to correctly encode the nerve signals for the sensory event and send them to the brain through the alternate channel. The brain appears to be flexible when it comes to interpreting sensory input. You can train it to read input from, say, the tactile channel, as visual or balance information, and to act on it accordingly. There are devices that use "vibrotactile" stimulation, among other means, to send information to the brain through an alternate sensory channel.
In a vibrotactile stimulation device, encoded sensory signals are applied to the skin by one or more vibrating pins. Tactaid , an auditory substitution device, uses this type of technology.
She has a device in her mouth, touching her tongue, and there are wires running from that device to the video camera. And when he suddenly rolls it in her direction, she puts out a hand to stop it. The blind woman saw the ball. Through her tongue. Well, not exactly through her tongue, but the device in her mouth sent visual input through her tongue in much the same way that seeing individuals receive visual input through the eyes. In both cases, the initial sensory input mechanism -- the tongue or the eyes -- sends the visual data to the brain , where that data is processed and interpreted to form images.
BrainPort Vision Device
Photo courtesy Wicab, Inc. Test results for the BrainPort vision device are no less encouraging, although Wicab has not yet performed formal clinical trials with the setup. According to the University of Washington Department of Ophthalmology, million people in the United States alone suffer from visual impairment. This might be age-related, including cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, from diseases like trachoma, diabetes or HIV , or the result of eye trauma from an accident. BrainPort could provide vision-impaired people with limited forms of sight. To produce tactile vision, BrainPort uses a camera to capture visual data.
How BrainPort Works
The BrainPort Vision Pro is being used by individuals with no usable vision, both congenitally blind and with acquired blindness. Good candidates for using the BrainPort Vision Pro are people that have completed conventional blind rehabilitation training and are comfortable using conventional assistive tools. A non-surgical solution, BrainPort Vision Pro does not affect the eyes. This is important in the event future research offers better alternatives for people who are totally blind. Training is offered through certified, independent training facilities. A typical training course is 10 hours of one-on-one training, over a three-day period, including customized content for the individual user.