Neuroscience

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Using precisely-targeted lasers, researchers manipulate neurons in worms’ brains and take control of their behavior
In the quest to understand how the brain turns sensory input into behavior, Harvard scientists have crossed a major threshold. Using precisely-targeted lasers, researchers have been able to take over an animal’s brain, instruct it to turn in any direction they choose, and even to implant false sensory information, fooling the animal into thinking food was nearby.
As described in a September 23 paper published in Nature, a team made up of Sharad Ramanathan, an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and of Applied Physics, Askin Kocabas, a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Ching-Han Shen, a Research Assistant in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Zengcai V. Guo, from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute were able to take control of Caenorhabditis elegans – tiny, transparent worms – by manipulating neurons in the worms’ “brain.”
(Image credit: Ian D. Chin-Sang)

Using precisely-targeted lasers, researchers manipulate neurons in worms’ brains and take control of their behavior

In the quest to understand how the brain turns sensory input into behavior, Harvard scientists have crossed a major threshold. Using precisely-targeted lasers, researchers have been able to take over an animal’s brain, instruct it to turn in any direction they choose, and even to implant false sensory information, fooling the animal into thinking food was nearby.

As described in a September 23 paper published in Nature, a team made up of Sharad Ramanathan, an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and of Applied Physics, Askin Kocabas, a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Ching-Han Shen, a Research Assistant in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Zengcai V. Guo, from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute were able to take control of Caenorhabditis elegans – tiny, transparent worms – by manipulating neurons in the worms’ “brain.”

(Image credit: Ian D. Chin-Sang)

Filed under behavior brain caenorhabditis elegans neuron neuroscience science

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  7. committedpsychonaut reblogged this from neurosciencestuff and added:
    Absolutely fascinating. I’m working with strains...C. elegans that possess mutations
  8. xgongiveitoya reblogged this from ctrunley
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  12. ctrunley reblogged this from espinoso and added:
    well this is fucking fucked up as fuck. god dammit.
  13. comfycat reblogged this from espinoso and added:
    Huh
  14. theplankscale reblogged this from neurosciencestuff and added:
    Now We Can Control Worm Brains With Lasers. Next Stop… Your Brain! Yep....
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  24. masterofgeekingitup reblogged this from neurosciencestuff and added:
    Matrix here we come XD
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