Navigation Links
Device converting images into music helps individuals without vision reach for objects in space
Date:7/5/2012

Amsterdam, NL, July 5, 2012 Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) use sound or touch to help the visually impaired perceive the visual scene surrounding them. The ideal SSD would assist not only in sensing the environment but also in performing daily activities based on this input. For example, accurately reaching for a coffee cup, or shaking a friend's hand. In a new study, scientists trained blindfolded sighted participants to perform fast and accurate movements using a new SSD, called EyeMusic. Their results are published in the July issue of Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

The EyeMusic, developed by a team of researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, employs pleasant musical tones and scales to help the visually impaired "see" using music. This non-invasive SSD converts images into a combination of musical notes, or "soundscapes."

The device was developed by the senior author Prof. Amir Amedi and his team at the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) and the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada at the Hebrew University. The EyeMusic scans an image and represents pixels at high vertical locations as high-pitched musical notes and low vertical locations as low-pitched notes according to a musical scale that will sound pleasant in many possible combinations. The image is scanned continuously, from left to right, and an auditory cue is used to mark the start of the scan. The horizontal location of a pixel is indicated by the timing of the musical notes relative to the cue (the later it is sounded after the cue, the farther it is to the right), and the brightness is encoded by the loudness of the sound.

The EyeMusic's algorithm uses different musical instruments for each of the five colors: white (vocals), blue (trumpet), red (reggae organ), green (synthesized reed), yellow (violin); Black is represented by silence. Prof. Amedi mentions that "The notes played span five octaves and were carefully chosen by musicians to create a pleasant experience for the users." Sample sound recordings are available at http://brain.huji.ac.il/em/.

"We demonstrated in this study that the EyeMusic, which employs pleasant musical scales to convey visual information, can be used after a short training period (in some cases, less than half an hour) to guide movements, similar to movements guided visually," explain lead investigators Drs. Shelly Levy-Tzedek, an ELSC researcher at the Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Prof. Amir Amedi. "The level of accuracy reached in our study indicates that performing daily tasks with an SSD is feasible, and indicates a potential for rehabilitative use."

The study tested the ability of 18 blindfolded sighted individuals to perform movements guided by the EyeMusic, and compared those movements to those performed with visual guidance. At first, the blindfolded participants underwent a short familiarization session, where they learned to identify the location of a single object (a white square) or of two adjacent objects (a white and a blue square).

In the test sessions, participants used a stylus on a digitizing tablet to point to a white square located either in the north, the south, the east or the west. In one block of trials they were blindfolded (SSD block), and in the other block (VIS block) the arm was placed under an opaque cover, so they could see the screen but did not have direct visual feedback from the hand. The endpoint location of their hand was marked by a blue square. In the SSD block, they received feedback via the EyeMusic. In the VIS block, the feedback was visual.

"Participants were able to use auditory information to create a relatively precise spatial representation," notes Dr. Levy-Tzedek.

The study lends support to the hypothesis that representation of space in the brain may not be dependent on the modality with which the spatial information is received, and that very little training is required to create a representation of space without vision, using sounds to guide fast and accurate movements. "SSDs may have great potential to provide detailed spatial information for the visually impaired, allowing them to interact with their external environment and successfully make movements based on this information, but further research is now required to evaluate the use of our device in the blind " concludes Dr. Levy-Tzedek. These results demonstrate the potential application of the EyeMusic in performing everyday tasks from accurately reaching for the red (but not the green!) apples in the produce aisle, to, perhaps one day, playing a Kinect / Xbox game.


'/>"/>

Contact: Daphne Watrin
d.watrin@iospress.nl
31-206-883-355
IOS Press
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Nano-devices that cross blood-brain barrier open door to treatment of cerebral palsy
2. In Rat Study, Eye Device Shows Promise for Restoring Sight
3. Biochip-based device for cell analysis
4. New device warns workers of high levels of airborne metals in minutes rather than weeks
5. Device implanted in brain has therapeutic potential for Huntingtons disease
6. US Drug Watchdog Now Offers To Help All Recipients Of A DePuy Pinnacle Or Recalled DePuy ASR Hip Implant Get To The Best Attorneys Regardless If Their Device Has Failed
7. Oakworks Medical, a Division of Oakworks Inc., Oakworks.com, Manufacturer of Medical Tables and Positioning Devices Announces ISO 13485 Certification
8. Device is effective in managing incontinence after surgery
9. Adena Delivers Instant Health Information to Mobile Devices
10. The US Drug Watchdog Now Urges Plaintiffs Law Firms Worldwide To Contact Them About A Possible International Effort To Help Victims Of Defective Drugs Or Medical Devices
11. Popularity Causing Several Week Lag In Delivery Of 'Plug In' Device To Start Saving On Electricity Between 8% and 20%
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Device converting images into music helps individuals without vision reach for objects in space
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... ... financial consultations to communities in northern Virginia and DC, is announcing a cooperative ... for patients with Alzheimer’s and other disorders that lead to memory impairment. , ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... Nearly 70 percent of ... released today by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS). , ... of consumers considering a cosmetic medical procedure has doubled since 2013. , “Cosmetic ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... ... for many of the health care industry’s hospitals and provider groups, has announced ... portal for select customers. Parasail Health is a San Francisco health-finance startup that ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... ... From June 20-22, EarQ and Widex held an exclusive training event ... is headquartered. , Together, the organizations educate hearing care professionals on how to ... latest in hearing technology. At the event, EarQ members got an in-depth look ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... The Kelahan Agency, ... services to residents of southern New Hampshire, is teaming up with the New ... hunger and homelessness in the region. , New Horizons for New Hampshire provides ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/19/2017)... June 19, 2017  Researchers from DRUGSCAN ® ... will host a live, complimentary webinar titled, "Untangling methods ... to the real world" on Wednesday June 28, 2017 ... This webinar will feature interviews with recreational and ... the manipulation techniques abusers use to prepare opioid tablets ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... -- In 2016, Embodied Labs took top prize ... came away with $25,000 in seed-fund investment. Embodied Labs ... "entering the life of another" and by the Journal ... medical professionals in an entirely new dimension." Building upon ... for the Department of Education,s EdSimChallenge, where they received ...
(Date:6/9/2017)... , June 9, 2017 AirXpanders, Inc. ... focused on the design, manufacture, sale and distribution of ... on the progress of its commercial roll-out in ... available in more than one hundred (100) medical institutions ... AeroForm offers a needle-free alternative for women who ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: