optogenetics

Injectable nanoparticles that convert sound waves, which can easily penetrate into the brain, into light, have been developed by Stanford researchers[1]. Optogenetics, a tool for controlling neurons with light, has given neuroscientists the ability to flip brain cells on and off more or less at will, revolutionizing neuroscience. Yet the technique faces a fundamental challenge… Read more

New nanoparticles and nanoclusters dubbed “superballs” offer more control to optogenetics. Optogenetics is a technique that uses light to control cells within living tissue. The biological technique controls cells in tissues genetically modified for light sensitivity. Drawbacks are that the light can activate several genes at once and that it must penetrate deeply to be… Read more

In high stress situations like making a goal in soccer, some athletes go through a quick slump in performance under pressure, known as “choking.” Now, Salk Institute researchers have uncovered what might be behind the phenomenon – one-way signals from the brain’s emotion circuit to the movement circuit. The research[1] could lead to new strategies… Read more

Stanford University School of Medicine neuroscientists stimulated nerve cells in the visual cortex of mice to induce an illusory image in the animals’ minds. The scientists needed to stimulate a surprisingly small number of neurons in order to generate the perception, which caused the mice to behave in a particular way. “Back in 2012, we… Read more

Scientists have long theorized that attention to a particular object can alter perception by amplifying certain neuronal activity and suppressing the activity of other neurons (brain “noise”). Now, researchers from the Salk Institute have confirmed this theory by showing how too much background noise from neurons can interrupt focused attention and cause the brain to… Read more