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The goal of visual prostheses is to restore visual function in people who are blind by converting visual information into patterns of electrical stimulation that can be used to directly stimulate neurons of the retina or brain. Auditory prostheses have proved remarkably successful in restoring hearing; however, the development of a useful visual prosthesis still faces significant hurdles.

Over the last decade there have been significant advances in a variety of areas that are key to visual prosthetic design, including surgical techniques, electronic miniaturization, electrode design, safe encapsulation of electronics in the body, and our understanding of the neural effects of electrical stimulation. As a result, the field of visual prosthetics has made rapid advances: Currently some dozen academic and commercial research groups around the world ...

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