Integration of optogenetics with complementary methodologies in systems neuroscience

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2017 Mar 17;18(4):222-235. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2017.15.


Modern optogenetics can be tuned to evoke activity that corresponds to naturally occurring local or global activity in timing, magnitude or individual-cell patterning. This outcome has been facilitated not only by the development of core features of optogenetics over the past 10 years (microbial-opsin variants, opsin-targeting strategies and light-targeting devices) but also by the recent integration of optogenetics with complementary technologies, spanning electrophysiology, activity imaging and anatomical methods for structural and molecular analysis. This integrated approach now supports optogenetic identification of the native, necessary and sufficient causal underpinnings of physiology and behaviour on acute or chronic timescales and across cellular, circuit-level or brain-wide spatial scales.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrophysiology / methods
  • Neuroanatomy / methods
  • Neuroimaging / methods
  • Neurosciences / methods*
  • Neurosciences / trends
  • Optogenetics / methods*
  • Optogenetics / trends