Biomedical engineering Distinguished Professor Richard Normann

Researcher Richard A. Normann of the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah and a U Distinguished Professor of biomedical engineering worked with collaborators to successfully create a form of artificial vision for a blind woman using a prosthesis hardwired into her brain.

Publishing “Visual percepts evoked with an Intracortical 96-channel Microelectrode Array inserted in human occipital cortex” in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Normann and Spanish collaborator Eduardo Fernández, MD, PhD, detail how the Moran|Cortivis Prosthesis produced a simple form of vision for 60-year old Berna Gómez.

Berna Gómez of Elche, Spain, wears eyeglasses equipped with a miniature video camera that are part of the Moran|Cortivis Prosthesis.

The team conducted a series of experiments with Gómez for six months in Elche, Spain, that represent a leap forward for scientists hoping to create a visual prosthesis that could increase independence for the blind.

A neurosurgeon implanted a microelectrode array invented by Normann, the Utah Electrode Array (UEA), into the visual cortex of Gómez to record and stimulate the electrical activities of neurons.

Click here to read more of the story from the John A. Moran Center at the University of Utah.