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Paulo E. Stanga, Jose A. Sahel, Jr., Lyndon daCruz, Farhad Hafezi, Francesco Merlini, Brian Coley, Robert J. Greenberg, Argus II Study Group; Patients blinded by outer retinal dystrophies are able to perceive simultaneous colors using the Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):6952.
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To test if patients blinded by outer retinal dystrophies can consistently perceive different colored percepts at the same time with the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System.
Four blind subjects with retinitis pigmentosa (bare light perception or worse vision in both eyes, functional ganglion cells and intact optic nerve, confirmed history of useful form vision), fitted with the Argus II retinal prosthesis were tested. Different pairs of electrodes were stimulated simultaneously with trains of cathodic-anodic pulses with different parameters (12 trials per pairs of electrodes). The electrodes selection was based on the threshold values and the position of the electrodes. Subjects reported the color(s) they perceived after each stimulation.
Seven different combinations of colors were perceived by the subjects (gray-white, yellow-gray, orange-white, white-blue, brown-white, yellow-white, yellow-blue). Three subjects were able to perceive two different colors at the same time using different stimulation parameters. One subject was able to perceive two different colors but not simultaneously. Different colors can be stimulated from the same electrode but with different parameters.
Three blind subjects fitted with the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System were able to perceive different colored flashes at the same time. This is the first time that a retinal prosthetic device has been shown to allow a group of blind patients to perceive two different colors simultaneously. These data, as well as data from future studies, could allow us to provide a rudimentary version of color vision to blind patients.
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