Optogenetics lets researchers directly examine the brain through controlling neurons in the brain by inserting genes for particular photoreceptors, proteins that respond to light, into neurons.

But let Ed Boyden explain it.* He gives an excellent presentation, with great visuals:

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* I’ve presented a video on this topic before, but it thoroughly deserves fresh viewing. This earlier post also has my own brief description of optogenetics. Ed covers this ground in his talk.

You’ll notice Ed Boyden briefly mentions cochlear implants in his talk – something I still haven’t written about. One day…

Some other neuroscience-related articles on Code for life:

Autism genetics, how do you copy?

Neurological shorts

Understanding the brain through controlling it

The inheritance of face recognition (should you blame your parents if you can’t recognise faces?)

I remember because my DNA was methylated