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Researchers have found that brain knows how to integrate natural and artificial vision. Pixabay

Raising hope of effective treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), researchers have found that the brain knows how to integrate natural and artificial vision, while maintaining information processing that is important for vision.

AMD is a common cause of severe vision loss in among those aged 50 and over. Though there is no cure for AMD, significant recent advancements in artificial retina implants may lead to effective treatment.


“These pioneering results have implications for better restoration of sight in AMD patients implanted with retinal prosthetic devices and support our hypothesis that prosthetic and natural vision can be integrated in the brain,” said the study’s lead author Yossi Mandel from Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

“The results could also have implications for future brain-machine interface applications where artificial and natural processes co-exist,” said Mandel. Located inside the eye the retina contains light receptors (photoreceptors) which absorb light. Information is then processed and transmitted to the brain.


The macula, the central area of the retina, processes most of the information that reaches the brain from the eye. Pixabay

The macula, the central area of the retina, processes most of the information that reaches the brain from the eye, enabling one to see while reading and driving, facial recognition, and any other activity that requires accurate vision.

In the peripheral retina, the area of the retina outside the macula that assists mainly with spatial judgment, vision is 10-20 times less precise.

In AMD precise vision is impaired due to damage to the centre of the retina, while peripheral vision remains normal.

When there is damage to the photoreceptor layers in the retina, an artificial retina — a device built from tiny electrodes smaller in width than a hair — may be implanted.

Activating these electrodes results in electrical stimulation of the remaining retinal cells and results in visual restoration, albeit partially. AMD patients implanted with an artificial retina possess a combination of artificial central vision and normal peripheral vision.

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“We used a unique projection system which stimulated either natural vision, artificial vision or a combination of natural and artificial vision, while simultaneously recording the cortical responses in rodents implanted with a subretinal implant,” said Tamar Arens-Arad from Bar-Ilan University.

The implant is composed of dozens of tiny solar cells and electrodes, developed by Professor Daniel Palanker at Stanford University in the US. (IANS)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)