Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Comparative Study
, 8 (9), 1263-8

Millisecond-timescale, Genetically Targeted Optical Control of Neural Activity

Comparative Study

Millisecond-timescale, Genetically Targeted Optical Control of Neural Activity

Edward S Boyden et al. Nat Neurosci.


Temporally precise, noninvasive control of activity in well-defined neuronal populations is a long-sought goal of systems neuroscience. We adapted for this purpose the naturally occurring algal protein Channelrhodopsin-2, a rapidly gated light-sensitive cation channel, by using lentiviral gene delivery in combination with high-speed optical switching to photostimulate mammalian neurons. We demonstrate reliable, millisecond-timescale control of neuronal spiking, as well as control of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission. This technology allows the use of light to alter neural processing at the level of single spikes and synaptic events, yielding a widely applicable tool for neuroscientists and biomedical engineers.

Similar articles

  • Synaptically Released GABA Activates Both Pre- And Postsynaptic GABA(B) Receptors in the Rat Globus Pallidus
    K Kaneda et al. J Neurophysiol 94 (2), 1104-14. PMID 16061489.
    The globus pallidus (GP) contains abundant GABAergic synapses and GABA(B) receptors. To investigate whether synaptically released GABA can activate pre- and postsynaptic …
  • Inputs to Nucleus Pontis Caudalis From Adjacent Trigeminal Areas
    G Dal Bo et al. Eur J Neurosci 22 (8), 1987-96. PMID 16262637.
    Recent studies suggest that the nucleus pontis caudalis (nPontc) plays a role in patterning mastication through interactions with the adjacent lateral tegmentum. In this …
  • Channelrhodopsin-2, a Directly Light-Gated Cation-Selective Membrane Channel
    G Nagel et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 100 (24), 13940-5. PMID 14615590.
    Microbial-type rhodopsins are found in archaea, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes. Some of them represent membrane ion transport proteins such as bacteriorhodopsin, a light-dri …
  • Channel Noise in Neurons
    JA White et al. Trends Neurosci 23 (3), 131-7. PMID 10675918. - Review
    The probabilistic gating of voltage-dependent ion channels is a source of electrical 'channel noise' in neurons. This noise has long been implicated in limiting the relia …
  • Optical Neural Interfaces
    MR Warden et al. Annu Rev Biomed Eng 16, 103-29. PMID 25014785. - Review
    Genetically encoded optical actuators and indicators have changed the landscape of neuroscience, enabling targetable control and readout of specific components of intact …
See all similar articles

Cited by 1,387 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms