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Samuel A. Titchener, Jeroen Goossens, Jessica Kvansakul, David A. X. Nayagam, Maria Kolic, Elizabeth K. Baglin, Lauren N. Ayton, Carla J. Abbott, Chi D. Luu, Nick Barnes, William G. Kentler, Mohit N. Shivdasani, Penelope J. Allen, Matthew A. Petoe; Estimating Phosphene Locations Using Eye Movements of Suprachoroidal Retinal Prosthesis Users. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2023;12(3):20. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.12.3.20.
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Accurate mapping of phosphene locations from visual prostheses is vital to encode spatial information. This process may involve the subject pointing to evoked phosphene locations with their finger. Here, we demonstrate phosphene mapping for a retinal implant using eye movements and compare it with retinotopic electrode positions and previous results using conventional finger-based mapping.
Three suprachoroidal retinal implant recipients (NCT03406416) indicated the spatial position of phosphenes. Electrodes were stimulated individually, and the subjects moved their finger (finger based) or their eyes (gaze based) to the perceived phosphene location. The distortion of the measured phosphene locations from the expected locations (retinotopic electrode locations) was characterized with Procrustes analysis.
The finger-based phosphene locations were compressed spatially relative to the expected locations all three subjects, but preserved the general retinotopic arrangement (scale factors ranged from 0.37 to 0.83). In two subjects, the gaze-based phosphene locations were similar to the expected locations (scale factors of 0.72 and 0.99). For the third subject, there was no apparent relationship between gaze-based phosphene locations and electrode locations (scale factor of 0.07).
Gaze-based phosphene mapping was achievable in two of three tested retinal prosthesis subjects and their derived phosphene maps correlated well with the retinotopic electrode layout. A third subject could not produce a coherent gaze-based phosphene map, but this may have revealed that their phosphenes were indistinct spatially.
Gaze-based phosphene mapping is a viable alternative to conventional finger-based mapping, but may not be suitable for all subjects.
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