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Visual and Non-Visual Navigation in Blind Patients with a Retinal Prosthesis

Garcia, S; Petrini, K; Rubin, GS; Da Cruz, L; Nardini, M; (2015) Visual and Non-Visual Navigation in Blind Patients with a Retinal Prosthesis. PLoS One , 10 (7) , Article e0134369. 10.1371/journal.pone.0134369. Green open access

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Abstract

Human adults with normal vision can combine visual landmark and non-visual self-motion cues to improve their navigational precision. Here we asked whether blind individuals treated with a retinal prosthesis could also benefit from using the resultant new visual signal together with non-visual information when navigating. Four patients (blind for 15-52 years) implanted with the Argus II retinal prosthesis (Second Sight Medical Products Inc. Sylmar, CA), and five age-matched and six younger controls, participated. Participants completed a path reproduction and a triangle completion navigation task, using either an indirect visual landmark and non-visual self-motion cues or non-visual self-motion cues only. Control participants wore goggles that approximated the field of view and the resolution of the Argus II prosthesis. In both tasks, control participants showed better precision when navigating with reduced vision, compared to without vision. Patients, however, did not show similar improvements when navigating with the prosthesis in the path reproduction task, but two patients did show improvements in the triangle completion task. Additionally, all patients showed greater precision than controls in both tasks when navigating without vision. These results indicate that the Argus II retinal prosthesis may not provide sufficiently reliable visual information to improve the precision of patients on tasks, for which they have learnt to rely on non-visual senses.

Type: Article
Title: Visual and Non-Visual Navigation in Blind Patients with a Retinal Prosthesis
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134369
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0134369
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Garcia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472466
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