MSE Research Project Database

Neural activity shaping for retinal and cochlear implants


Project Leader: Anthony Burkitt
Staff: Tatiana Kameneva
Primary Contact: Anthony Burkitt (aburkitt@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: biomedical engineering; bionic ear; bionic eye; medical bionics; neuroengineering
Disciplines: Biomedical Engineering
Domains: Convergence of engineering and IT with the life sciences
Research Centre: Neuroengineering Research Laboratory

This project aims to develop methods to control and optimise the spatial patterns of neural activity evoked by neural prostheses in order to improve the resolution of neuroprostheses. A major problem for neural prostheses is that the electrical current used to stimulate neurons causes a diffuse spread of activity in the neural tissue, which limits the resolution of the device. For patients this
translates into limitations in sound quality, in the case of cochlea implants, or visual acuity, for retinal implants. The outcome of the project will be algorithms that optimally choose the currents on each electrode so as to shape neural activity at the finer resolution of electrode spacing rather than the coarser resolution of current spread.