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New neuroscience-driven multisensory technologies to help the vision impaired


16th March 2921

New neuroscience-driven multisensory technologies to help the vision impaired


Cognitive Neuroscience Society

Vision impairment is a pervasive problem facing nearly 2.2 billion people globally, according to the World Health Organization. But help is on the way: Neuroscientists are working at the cutting edge of technology and brain science to develop new ways for the vision impaired to navigate the world around them. At the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS), researchers are presenting new techniques for integrating digital haptics and sound technology to transform vision rehabilitation for both children and adults alike.

"Vision rehabilitation requires bridging fundamental research, modelling and neuroimaging methods," says Benedetta Franceschiello of the University of Lausanne, who is chairing the symposium on vision rehabilitation at CNS 2021 virtual. The new wave of devices to help the vision impaired combine these areas to deliver more personalized, democratized technological solutions. "We have cutting-edge analysis techniques, the computational power of supercomputers, the ability to record data to a level of detail that was not possible before, and the ability to create increasingly sophisticated and portable rehabilitation devices," she says.

At the same time, neuroscientists have great insight into the brain's plasticity and how the brain integrates information from multiple senses. "This field is developing at a fast rate, which is vital," says Ruxandra Tivadar of the University of Bern, "as having reduced or a lacking sensory function is an extremely grave impairment that impacts everyday function and thus the quality of life."

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