Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Guided by the notion that biology itself offers some of the most incisive tools for studying biological systems, neurophysiologists rely increasingly on cell biological mechanisms and materials encoded in DNA to visualize and control the activity of neurons in functional circuits. Optical reporter proteins can broadcast the operational states of genetically designated cells and synapses; remote-controlled effectors can suppress or induce electrical activity. Many challenges, however, remain. These include the development of novel gene expression systems that target reporters and effectors to functionally relevant neuronal ensembles, the capacity to monitor and manipulate multiple populations of neurons in parallel, the ability to observe and elicit precisely timed action potentials, and the power to communicate with genetically designated target neurons through electromagnetic signals other than light.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Opin Neurobiol

Publication Date





395 - 402


Action Potentials, Animals, Central Nervous System, Genes, Reporter, Humans, Magnetics, Molecular Biology, Neural Pathways, Neurons, Signal Transduction, Synaptic Transmission