Perceiving invisible light through a somatosensory cortical prosthesis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Sensory neuroprostheses show great potential for alleviating major sensory deficits. It is not known, however, whether such devices can augment the subject's normal perceptual range. Here we show that adult rats can learn to perceive otherwise invisible infrared light through a neuroprosthesis that couples the output of a head-mounted infrared sensor to their somatosensory cortex (S1) via intracortical microstimulation. Rats readily learn to use this new information source, and generate active exploratory strategies to discriminate among infrared signals in their environment. S1 neurons in these infrared-perceiving rats respond to both whisker deflection and intracortical microstimulation, suggesting that the infrared representation does not displace the original tactile representation. Hence, sensory cortical prostheses, in addition to restoring normal neurological functions, may serve to expand natural perceptual capabilities in mammals.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Thomson, EE; Carra, R; Nicolelis, MAL

Published Date

  • 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 4 /

Start / End Page

  • 1482 -

PubMed ID

  • 23403583

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23403583

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2041-1723

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/ncomms2497


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England