Research

Research

The Biovision team  aims at developing fundamental research as well as technological developments along two axes.

Axis 1: High tech vision aid systems for low-vision patients

Visual impairment affects some 285 million people in the world, mostly in developed countries: 85% have low-vision (a condition caused by eye disease, in which visual acuity is 20/70 or poorer in the better-seeing eye and cannot be corrected or improved with regular eyeglasses. For these people, there is a strong need to conceive new aid-systems to help them in their daily living activities. Such aids already exist and can be divided into two categories according to their function. The first category concerns aids that translate visual information into alternative sensory information, such as touch or sound, called Sensory Substitution Devices (SSDs). The second category concerns aids that adapt visual information to render it more visible to the patients using scene processing methods and suitable devices. These are based on technological solutions and algorithmic solutions that will enhance important scene characteristics. In Biovision, we focus on this second category by targeting new vision aid systems that will help patients perform the task they primary need in their daily life while investigating solutions which adapt to their own pathology. In our approach, we have these main goals :

  1. We aim at developing contacts and collaborations with low-vision center and associations in order to better understand low-vision patients needs and have feedback on our prototypes. We are currently focusing on reading and navigation (indoor or outdoor).

  2. We aim at proposing new scene enhancements which can be adapted depending on pathologies.

  3. We want to develop solutions based on head mounted displays and especially low cost and large public systems with full consideration of comfort and ergonomics. Our objective is that some of our prototypes could be distributed to patients via transfer or company creation.

Axis 2: Human vision understanding through joint experimental and modeling studies, for normal and distrophic retinas

A holistic point of view is emerging in neuroscience where one can observe simultaneously how vision works at different levels of the hierarchy in the visual system. Multiple scales functional analysis and connectomics are also exploding in brain science, and studies of visual systems are upfront on this fast move. These integrated studies call for new classes of theoretical and integrated models where the goal is the modeling of visual functions such as motion integration.

In Biovision we contribute to a better understanding of the visual system with three main goals:

  1.  We aim at proposing simplified mathematical models characterizing how the retina converts a visual scene into spike population coding, in normal and under specific pathological conditions.

  2.  We design biophysical models allowing to better understand the multiscale dynamics of the retina, from dynamics of individual cells to their collective activity, and how changes in biophysical parameters (development, pharmacology, pathology) impacts this dynamics.

  3.  We want to design an integrated numerical model of the visual stream, with a focus on motion integration, from retina to early visual cortex (V1).

  4.  We develop a simulation platform emulating the retinal spike-response to visual and prosthetic simulations, in normal and pathological conditions.

Finally, although this is not the main goal of our team, another natural avenue of our research will be to develop novel synergistic solutions to solve computer vision tasks based on bio-inspired mechanisms.

To learn more about our recent research, check out our 2017 activity report.

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