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The world’s first bionic eyes have now been attached to the retinas of dozens of blind or nearly blind people, and we are just now beginning to get a sense of what those patients see.

People with these implants have the ability to distinguish light from dark, and they can recognize the outlines of objects in their view. However, the artificially created vision is also distorted in certain characteristic ways, says Geoffrey Boynton, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington. New computer-simulated images, based on reports from people with retinal implants as well as fairly well-established knowledge of how cells in the retina respond to electrical signals, can help illustrate these distortions, says Boynton, who conducted the research along with a fellow University of Washington psychology professor, Ione Fine. Read more…

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