Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Research Program


The Biovision team has started on January 1st, 2016 and became an Equipe Projet Inria on August 1st, 2018 . It 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, also known as vision loss, is a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses or lenses. Low-vision is a condition caused by eye disease, in which visual acuity is 20/70, meaning that the person is able to see, at 20 meters from a chart, what a normal person would see at 70 meters. Visual impairment affects some 285 million humans in the world, mostly in developed countries where this number is going to increase rapidly due to aging. 85% have low-vision or poorer. (Source: VisionAware) There is a strong need to conceive new aid-systems to help these people in their daily living activities. Such systems 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)  [45], [40]. 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 and algorithmic solutions that enhance salient scene characteristics  [60], [56]. In Biovision team, we focus on this second category by targeting new vision aid-systems helping patients in their daily life, adapting to their own pathology.

We have strong contacts and collaborations with low-vision centers and associations in order to better understand low-vision patients needs, and have feedback on our prototypes aimed to be distributed to patients via transfer or company creation (startup). With the fast-growing number of incurable eye diseases, crucial steps must be taken to increase visual accessibility by:

To do this, we need to work in synergy with patients to assess their needs, understand their pathologies at a perceptual level and design personalized solutions to create change and adoption. This will require developing state-of-the-art methods in computer science, necessitating skills from many areas such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, human-machine interface, multimedia systems, etc. By doing so, we will leverage new technologies to offer life-changing solutions for people with visual impairment [12], [15].

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 those main goals:

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

  2. Designing 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. Elaborating an integrated mathematical and numerical model of the visual stream, with a focus on motion integration, from retina to early visual cortex (V1).

  4. Developing a simulation platform emulating the retinal response to visual and prosthetic simulations, enabling us to test hypotheses about the functioning of the early visual system, in normal, pharmacological or pathological conditions.

Finally, although this is not the main goal of our team, two other natural avenues of our research are (i) to develop novel synergistic solutions to solve computer vision tasks based on bio-inspired mechanisms [7]; (ii) collaborate with neuroscientists and neuronal modellers to address mathematical problems outside the scope of the retina or the early visual system.