Saccadic eye movements evoked by optogenetic activation of primate V1

Nat Neurosci. 2012 Oct;15(10):1368-70. doi: 10.1038/nn.3210. Epub 2012 Sep 2.


Optogenetics has advanced our understanding of the neural basis of simple behaviors in rodents and small animals. In primates, however, for which more sophisticated behavioral assays exist, optogenetic manipulations of behavior have been unsuccessful. We found that monkeys reliably shifted their gaze toward the receptive field of optically driven channelrhodopsin-2-expressing neurons of the primary visual cortex. This result establishes optogenetics as a viable tool for the causal analysis of behavior in primate brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Optogenetics / methods*
  • Rhodopsin / genetics
  • Rhodopsin / metabolism
  • Saccades / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*


  • Rhodopsin