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A new way for blind mice to see

Prosthetic retina turns neural codes into clearer images than older methods can produce

SAN DIEGO — A new type of prosthetic eye may someday allow blind people to seamlessly see the broad sweep of an ocean or the dimples in a baby’s face. The approach, presented November 13 at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting, may benefit the estimated 25 million people worldwide who have lost sight due to retinal diseases.

“This is a spectacular example of what we all hoped to be able to do,” said Jonathan Victor, a computational systems neuroscientist who was not involved in the new work. “It’s a solution to an abstract problem” that could be useful in many kinds of systems.

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