Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Optogenetic and Electrical Microstimulation Systematically Bias Visuospatial Choice in Primates

Hi all, this article explains the successful use of optogenetics to control neural activity in primates. I learned a little bit about optogenetics in my biochemistry lecture during the fall, and it was fascinating to come across this article.  Optogenetics employs using neurons that have been genetically modified to express membrane proteins that are sensitive to light.  Current methods involve electrical microstimulation to control neural activity, but recent studies like the one here show that optogenetics might be a better alternative.  These studies have been successfully done in other mammals such as rodents, but this is the first study to successfully accomplish using optogenetics to control primate behavior.

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