Sheila Nirenberg spoke at The Post’s 2016 Transformers live journalism event May 18 in Washington, D.C. Learn more here.

“For a normal person, images come in and they land on your photoreceptors.

“An image ultimately gets converted into a code and it’s a code that the brain understands. When a person’s brain gets this pattern of pulses, it knows that out there was this baby’s face. If it got a different pattern of pulses, it would know that it was a car or dog.

“When a person gets a retinal degenerative disease like macular degeneration, the photoreceptors die. But the output cells, the cells at the end, they still work. If we can make a device that can interact with these output cells and send the code in, then we could restore sight to the blind. It sounds dramatic.”

Sheila Nirenberg
Cornell University

Cyborg artist Neil Harbisson, neuroscientist Sheila Nirenberg and Meta's John Werner discuss advances in neuroscience and augmented reality that allowing us to experience the world like never before. (Washington Post Live)