Retinal Implants and Visual Cortex Plasticity
The New York Times recently published another article on the advances being made with retinal implants, also known as the retinal microchip.
In this particular article they focus on the problems of the implants moving about or shaking loose and a new technique that fits the implant behind the retina rather than on top of it.
In this new technique, the surgeon must “rotate the eye and make an incision in the back of it.” The doctor added that “the method is delicate.” That sounds like an understatement!
But what I found most interesting about the article is that Dr. John Loewenstein mentions that they are learning more about how the brain functions, particularly the visual cortex, and that it is much more plastic than previously assumed. Where we used to think that most if not all brain development occurred early in life, they’re finding that the brain can continue to grow and learn and process new information (such as vision) well into adulthood.
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