Artificial vision for the blind by connecting a television camera to the visual cortex

ASAIO J. Jan-Feb 2000;46(1):3-9. doi: 10.1097/00002480-200001000-00002.


Blindness is more feared by the public than any ailment with the exception of cancer and AIDS. We report the development of the first visual prosthesis providing useful "artificial vision" to a blind volunteer by connecting a digital video camera, computer, and associated electronics to the visual cortex of his brain. This device has been the objective of a development effort begun by our group in 1968 and represents realization of the prediction of an artificial vision system made by Benjamin Franklin in his report on the "kite and key" experiment, with which he discovered electricity in 1751.

MeSH terms

  • Blindness / therapy*
  • Eye, Artificial*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Television
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Fields