The development and application of optogenetics

Annu Rev Neurosci. 2011:34:389-412. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-061010-113817.


Genetically encoded, single-component optogenetic tools have made a significant impact on neuroscience, enabling specific modulation of selected cells within complex neural tissues. As the optogenetic toolbox contents grow and diversify, the opportunities for neuroscience continue to grow. In this review, we outline the development of currently available single-component optogenetic tools and summarize the application of various optogenetic tools in diverse model organisms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Humans
  • Light Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Models, Genetic
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition / genetics
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurosciences
  • Opsins / genetics


  • Opsins