For many causes of blindness, a device to restore sight by sending signals from an external camera directly to the brain is the most promising treatment path. Such devices, known as visual prostheses, while conceptually simple, require substantial study to understand the best way to present information to the brain to make the resulting artificial vision useful. We have been using computerized simulations of artificial vision with normal, sighted subjects in order to answer questions about device design, and gaze tracking is a critical part of those studies. In this presentation, we will review our studies that have used a variety of gaze tracking systems, and look to the future of gaze tracking in visual prostheses.
John S. Pezaris, Ph.D. has bachelor's and master's degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, and a doctoral degree in Computation and Neural Systems from Caltech. After post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School, he joined the research faculty in the Department of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital where he currently runs the Visual Prosthesis Laboratory. His research interests include basic investigation of the early visual pathway, with translational application to restoration of sight of the blind.