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Optogenetics and Electrophysiology 

Optogenetics and Electrophysiology
Chapter:
Optogenetics and Electrophysiology
Author(s):

Hua-an Tseng

, Richie E. Kohman

, and Xue Han

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199939800.003.0009
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date: 05 December 2020

Throughout the history of neuroscience, electrophysiological and imaging techniques have been utilized to observe neural signals at various spatial and temporal scales. However, it has been difficult to manipulate the activity of specific cells or neural circuits with the spatial and temporal resolutions relevant to neural coding. A novel technique called optogenetics, has recently been developed to control the activity of specific cells. This technique allows rapid and reversible optical activation or silencing of specific cells, which have been genetically transduced with light-sensitive molecules. The development of microbial opsin-based optogenetic molecular sensors has made optogenetics easily adaptable in various in vivo and in vitro preparations, and the technique has already been applied to understand neural circuit mechanisms of many behaviors and diseases. Here, we provide an introduction to optogenetics, the practical concerns in using the technique in vivo, and examples of applications that combine traditional electrophysiology techniques with optogenetics.

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