Human Connectomes for Low Vision, Blindness, and Sight Restoration

Project Overview & Components

Data being collected

Data will be collected on a 3T Prisma-fit at the University of Southern California, and on a 3T Siemens Prism at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Standard HCP demographics
  • Imaging: The HCP LifeSpan imaging protocol will be followed with one additional shell for diffusion MR.  Task fMRI will be used, but because the study participants will be unable to use the HCP protocol’s visual stimuli, new tasks will be used, such as Visual Noise and Tactile tasks. Retinotopy will also be used for some participants. For resting-state fMRI, instead of requiring the participants to fixate, which most of our participants cannot do, they will be asked to keep their eyes open while wearing a light-excluding eye mask (made of black molded cell foam and nylon interlock fabric with a contoured rim) throughout the run. 
  • Clinical:
    • Per eye: OD/OS, best corrected visual acuity, location(s) of preferred retinal locas (PRL), if any
    • Retinal measurements: General condition, light sensitivity (visual field), vascular perfusion, sectorial RNFL thickness (MPB), topography of total retinal thickness, topography of GCL thickness

Cohort Description

Data will be collected on 260 participants between the ages 20 of and 80 years old.  Up to 70 control participants will enrolled, 10 of which will be used for cross-site comparison between USC and UPENN.

Data Release Plans

  • The first data release includes 90 participants.
  • The second data release includes of 190 participants.
  • The third data release includes of 260 participants.


Age related macular degeneration; Blindness; Eye diseases; Visually Impaired Persons; retinal prosthesis;