A light-emitting device implanted in a mouse brain can activate neurons wirelessly, allowing researchers to control and observe the mouse’s behavior, according to a report published 12 April in Science.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
In 2003, John Rubenstein and Michael Merzenich first described the theory, now popular in autism, that the disorder reflects an imbalance between excitation and inhibition in the brain. Takao K. Hensch and Parizad M. Bilimoria review the paper and its impact on the field.
After nine long years, the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting is returning to New Orleans. And SFARI.org’s reporters are ready to deliver the best advances in autism research that emerge.
An innovative technique that uses waves of light to silence brain signaling in live animals can affect subsequent neuronal signals, according to a study published 24 June in Nature Neuroscience.
Understanding the function of neuronal circuits, specifically microcircuits in the prefrontal cortex and elsewhere in the brain, will play a major role in translating research findings into new autism treatments, says Vikaas Sohal.
A pH-sensitive red fluorescent molecule allows researchers to simultaneously monitor two different types of neuronal activity, according to a study published 27 May in Nature Neuroscience.
The heat produced by radio waves can interact with metallic nanoparticles bound to temperature-sensitive ion channels in cells, allowing researchers to remotely alter gene expression in live animals, according to a study published 4 May in Science. The technique could also be used to activate neuronal signals by manipulating calcium influx into neurons, the researchers say.
By manipulating the location of a protein that detects capsaicin, the molecule responsible for the burn in hot chili peppers, researchers can activate subpopulations of neurons and alter the behavior of mice. The results were published 20 March in Nature Communications.
A ten-year initiative announced last month by the Allen Institute for Brain Science aims to catalog the development, structure and function of neural circuits in the brain at an unprecedented level of detail.