The Future Cure to Blindness?


image under creative commons by Noun Project

Experiments on monkeys, have promises in restoring sight in blind people. Nethers Institute for Neuroscience had a series of successful test with brain implants on monkeys. The brain implants send electrical currents in and out of the brain. The electrical signals make phosphenes, that can be made into illusion of shapes and objects. The monkeys that were planted with the brain implants were able to do a basic task. They were also able to make out shapes and other objects. According to CNN “The team believes that such technology could one day be used to simulate sight in blind people who have been able to see at some point in their lives.”

image under creative commons by Wikimedia Commons

Pieter Roelfsema a lead researcher how, told CNN that “when people’s eyes stop functioning and they lose their sight, their cortex is deprived of input.” The cortex takes electrical signals that your eyes sends and makes them into images. So when your eyes stop working you can connect a brain implant to your cortex. You then stimulate a pattern of electrodes to create a pattern of dots of light to create a meaningful images. A blind person can wear glasses with a camera that is connect to the cortex. Then a person could see the world and everyone in it. The technology is still in development but it should be ready for human trials by 2023.