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# Using quantum states of light to probe the retinal network

preprint

posted on 2023-01-12, 14:24 authored by Ali Pedram, Özgür E. Müstecaplıoğlu, Iannis K. KominisThe minimum number of photons necessary for activating the sense of vision has been a topic of research for over a century. The ability of rod cells to sense a few photons has implications for understanding the fundamental capabilities of the human visual and nervous system and creating new vision technologies based on photonics. We investigate the fundamental metrological capabilities of different quantum states of light to probe the retina, which is modeled using a simple neural network. Stimulating the rod cells by Fock, coherent and thermal states of light, and calculating the Cramer-Rao lower bound (CRLB) and Fisher information matrix for the signal produced by the ganglion cells in various conditions, we determine the volume of minimum error ellipsoid. Comparing the resulting ellipsoid volumes, we determine the metrological performance of different states of light for probing the retinal network. The results indicate that the thermal state yields the largest error ellipsoid volume and hence the worst metrological performance, and the Fock state yields the best performance for all parameters. This advantage persists even if another layer is added to the network or optical losses are considered in the calculations.