[Comp-neuro] Multiple-color, optical activation & silencing of neurons

Ed Boyden esb at media.mit.edu
Thu Mar 22 12:06:44 CET 2007

Dear All,

I'm delighted to present a new neurotechnology from my lab at MIT, in
a paper entitled
    "Multiple-color optical activation, silencing, and desynchronization
    of neural activity, with single-spike temporal resolution."
You can read about it in the new PLoS journal, PLoSONE, where it
appeared yesterday:

In this paper, we describe how to use the yellow-light-activated
chloride pump, halorhodopsin (abbreviated Halo, in the form we
adapted), to safely and effectively make neurons silenceable by
millisecond-timescale pulses of light.  Furthermore, both
yellow-light-activated Halo and the blue-light-activated cation
channel channelrhodpsin-2 can be used simultaneously in a single
neuron -- enabling bi-directional control of neural voltage, with two
colors of light.  We demonstrate example uses of this multiple-color
toolbox that may open up completely novel genres of experiment – for
example, enabling testing of the role of neural synchrony in neural
computation, behavior, and pathology.


Ed Boyden, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor
Leader, Neuroengineering & Neuromedia Group
MIT Media Lab
Room E15-430, 20 Ames St., Cambridge, MA 02139
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
office - (617) 324-3085
cell - (650) 468-5625
fax - (617) 253-7035
email  -  esb at media.mit.edu
web  -  http://edboyden.org

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