GOOD VIBES - Blind Teacher Sees Letters Again Thanks To Tiny Brain Implant

Blind woman reading label on food packet through magnifying glass in kitchen at home

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Every weekday Shawn Patrick sheds some light on some good news with His Good Vibes Story. Here is today's...

A retired science teacher who’s been blind for more than 16 years was able to temporarily regain limited sight thanks to a visual prosthesis. Scientists connected a camera to implanted electrodes in the brain of Berna Gómez, giving her limited vision. After a training period, she was able to make out some objects’ edges, identify some letters, and even play a simple video game.

Gómez, 57, had a microelectrode array implanted into her visual cortex that was connected to eyeglasses with a built-in camera. She had the implants for six months and had no adverse effects. Because of her background in science, she was able to provide clinically precise feedback and was named as a co-author of the study.

The study proves that the concept works and scientists hope that future experiments will lead to technology that will allow blind people to have more safe and independent lives. "We have taken a significant step forward,” says researcher Eduardo Fernández. “Showing the potential of these types of devices to restore functional vision for people who have lost their vision,"

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