Sheila Nirenberg


Sheila Nirenberg is a neuroscientist and professor at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, where she studies neural coding – that is, how the brain takes information from the outside world and encodes it in patterns of electrical activity. The idea is to be able to decode the activity, to look at a pattern of electrical pulses and know what an animal is seeing or thinking or feeling. Recently, she's been using this work to develop new kinds of prosthetic devices, particularly ones for treating blindness.

TEDMED 2011: A prosthetic eye to treat blindness

At TEDMED, Sheila Nirenberg shows a bold way to create sight in people with certain kinds of blindness: by hooking into the optic nerve and sending signals from a camera direct to the brain.

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