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New Method Visualizes Individual Neural Pathways Using Light

July 31, 2017

Via: Medgadget

The brain’s functional network is both highly complex and hard to peer into, making it difficult to understand how some neurons are related to others and what their interconnectivity is like. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, Germany have now developed a way to visualize the electrical activity that single neurons generate and how they affect other cells in the vicinity.

Relying on optogenetics, a technology developed in the last few years that permits light to be used to stimulate genetically reprogrammed brain cells, the team was able to engage individual neurons and then see which nearby neurons react. Moreover, the shape and the contacts of the neurons can also be seen.

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