About this Research Topic
It has long been a dream of humankind to bring normal sight back to blind individuals. As early as 1750’s, a French physician had tried to cure blindness by applying an electric shock to a human subject. Since then, similar but much more advanced efforts have been continued in modern days. For instance, the seminal study of Dobelle in the early 1970’s demonstrated artificial visual percepts in blind volunteers by electric stimulation of the visual cortex with the help of an implanted microelectrode array. In the past two decades, incredible amounts of efforts have been made to improve the quality of artificial vision. However, previously commercialized microelectronic retinal prosthetic systems had shown somewhat limited performances. Alternative to the electric stimulation approaches, optogenetic stimulation has recently been tested in a clinical trial and ultrasonic stimulation has demonstrated its feasibility for reactivating retinal neurons.
The goal of this Research Topic would be to initiate a scientific agora that would deepen our understanding of diverse neuromodulation approaches for sight restoration. Given the fact that vision is the most sophisticated sensation, the high-level restoration of visual functions would require careful considerations in many aspects including spatial resolution of artificial stimulation, cell-type specificity, neurophysiological signaling patterns, and so on. Also, those considerations might be different across visual pathways (e.g., retina, optic nerve, lateral geniculate nucleus, and primary visual cortex) to which neuromodulation techniques are applied.
This Research Topic would accept Original Research, Systematic Review, Methods, Review, Mini Review, Perspective, and Case Report articles. Those manuscripts are expected to cover electrophysiological properties of various visual neurons ranging from ganglion cells in the retina to pyramidal cells in the visual cortex, particularly in responses to diverse neuromodulation modalities such as electric, magnetic, chemical, ultrasonic, and optogenetic stimulations. New types of neuromodulation approaches would be also welcome. We intend to compile various studies done in both blind (or diseased) and healthy animal models and/or human subjects. Although the primary journal is Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, external hardware designs and/or image processing/machine learning techniques can be also considered to be included in this Research Topic through other Frontiers Journals. We hope the papers to be published here could serve as great stepping stones for innovations in future sight restoration researches.
Keywords: Sight Restoration, Artificial Vision, Neural Prostheses, Retinal Prostheses, Electric Stimulation, Ultrasonic Stimulation, Magnetic Stimulation
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.