Optogenetics is a neuromodulation technique employed in behavioral neuroscience that uses a combination of techniques from optics and genetics to control the activity of individual neurons in living tissueâeven within freely-moving animalsâand to precisely measure the effects of those manipulations in real-time. It was developed by Karl Deisseroth and his colleagues at Stanford University in 2006. Optogenetics is known for the high spatial and temporal resolutions that it provides, which allow for observation of individual neurons over a timecourse of milliseconds, but is primarily famous for its ability to precisely alter the activity of specific brain areas without directly affecting a subject's behavior.
In a remarkable feat of science, scientists at Harvard University have surpassed seemingly insurmountable technological challenges have managed to take over the behavior of a lab worm. Using precisely targeted laser pulses at the worm’s neurons, scientists were able to direct it to move in any directions they wanted, and even trick it in thinking [...]
When the brain deems an experience meaningful enough, it will transfer that information from short-term storage, where typically information like where you put your car keys or the phone number of a person you just met gets stored temporarily, to your long-term memory, offering the possibility to be accessed at a later time. Neurologists claim [...]