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Visual Enhancement via Depth of Focus Extension and Tactile Stimulation of the Cornea - Zeev Zalevsky

February 11, 2015 - 11:00am
The Physics and Astrophysics Bldg. (452 Lomita Mall), Room 102
Cortical Adaptation and Visual Enhancement via Depth of Focus Extension and Tactile Stimulation of the Cornea Zeev Zalevsky Faculty of EngineeringBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-Gan 52900, Israel


Abstract: My talk will be divided into two parts. In the first I will discuss novel interference based extended depth of focus concept that we have developed which is matched to cortical adaptation. In the second I will show how special contact lens can be used to transmit visual information via spatial tactile stimulation of the human cornea.

Passive ophthalmic optic devices correct refractive defects of the eye but are not designed to employ neural adaptation processes. Our interference based extended depth of focus technology is implemented on conventional refractive devices, such as spectacles and contact lenses, and its testing is described. This technology is capable of simultaneously correcting all refractive errors, such as myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, regular/irregular astigmatism, as well as their combinations. This is achieved by exploiting the capacity of the visual system for adaptation to contrast as well as its capability of creating a coherent continuous visual field out of discrete lines of sight.

In the second part of my talk I propose to mount a camera and after proper image encoding to transmit the visual information to special contact lens that performs tactile stimulation of the cornea and therefore allows “seeing” with the eyes but not via the retinal photo receptors that are connected to the visual cortex but rather through the tactile sensors of the cornea. In a way our technological concept is similar to “Braille” reading that is done not via the finger tips but rather via the tactile sensation of the cornea. This technology can potentially be a non-invasive sensory substitution allowing blind people to perceive images. The outcome of my study which involves preliminary human trials will for the first time show that the tactile sense of the cornea has spatial discrimination capability and thus can be used to transmit spatial information. Corneal tactile stimulation can thus be potentially considered for use as vision substitute for blind people by teaching them to associate the tactile feeling of the stimulation to real spatial shapes and images.

Biography:Zeev Zalevsky is a Professor in the faculty of Engineering in Bar-Ilan University, Israel. His major fields of research are optical super resolution, biomedical optics, nano-photonics and electro-optical devices, RF photonics and beam shaping. Zeev received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Tel-Aviv University in 1993 and 1996 respectively. He has many publications, patents and awards recognizing his significant contribution to the field of super resolved imaging and biomedical sensing. Zeev is an OSA, SPIE and EOS fellow and IEEE senior member. He is currently serving as the vice Dean of engineering, the head of the electro-optics track and a director of the Nanophotonics Center at the Bar-Ilan Institute of Nanotechnology. Zeev is also the founder of several startup companies.