Using light to probe neuronal function
1 John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University - Canberra, ACT, Australia
2 Research School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University - Canberra, ACT, Australia
Received: 26 June 2015
Accepted: 30 July 2015
In the last few years a multi-disciplinary approach has been launched to investigate the brain using new techniques, which are capable of probing neuronal function across the entire length scales of the brain. Here, we discuss optical tools and spatial light patterning techniques to investigate brain function from the perspective of individual neurons and neuronal circuits. We discuss both biochemical and genetic tools to stimulate neurons, as well as techniques to record neuronal activity. We discuss optical projection and imaging tricks that can be dynamically customized to a particular neuron morphology and neuronal circuit layout facilitating a systematic study of their input/output transfer functions. These optical techniques will play a major role towards understanding the operation of a brain.
PACS: 87.85.D- – Applied neuroscience / 87.85.Ox – Biomedical instrumentation and transducers, including micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) / 87.85.Pq – Biomedical imaging
© EPLA, 2015