Optical neural interfaces

Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2014 Jul 11;16:103-29. doi: 10.1146/annurev-bioeng-071813-104733.


Genetically encoded optical actuators and indicators have changed the landscape of neuroscience, enabling targetable control and readout of specific components of intact neural circuits in behaving animals. Here, we review the development of optical neural interfaces, focusing on hardware designed for optical control of neural activity, integrated optical control and electrical readout, and optical readout of population and single-cell neural activity in freely moving mammals.

Keywords: GCaMP; channelrhodopsin; halorhodopsin; imaging; neurophysiology; optogenetics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Engineering / methods*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Electrodes
  • Electrophysiology / methods
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Mice
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurosciences
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Optogenetics / methods*
  • Photons
  • Rats
  • Silicon / chemistry


  • Silicon