Next-generation optogenetics--early concept brain research
Researchers all over the world use a technology called optogenetics, which allows them to turn neurons on and off in living laboratory organisms, by exposing them to certain types of light. Stephen Boppart of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wants to expand optogenetics even further. His project involves developing new physics-based techniques, to improve control over those beams of light. This would enable researchers to activate circuits of neurons with greater resolution and spatial specificity than ever before, laying the foundation for new types of brain research on how circuits produce behavior and cognition.