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Movie Script

By Frank Werblin

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QuickTime movie explaining how the eye processes images and sends them to the brain.

Scene 1. Parallel Movies in the retina. This movie depicts the region of the retina where the dozen or so images that inform the brain about the visual world are formed. Each movie is carried intact to the brain by a distinct class of optic nerve fibers.

Scene 2. Stratification of the Dendrites. This movie shows what retinal anatomists have known for years, namely, that this region of the retina is filled with the processes of cells that stratify in precise layers. The function of this stratification was not known until now.

Scene 3. A series of representations of a face, each characterizing a different feature of the visual input. Some characterize edges, others broad regions, others shadows, others bright areas, others movement. The representations are sparse in both space and time.

Scene 4. Putting the outputs of all the movies together gives a sense of the complete face, characterizing all of the salient features of the scene.

Scene 5. These image processing operations can be mediated in silicon by CNN to efficiently generate a full set of patterns that could be “tuned” by the prosthetics team to fit each blind patient.