Flashes of Light Can Break Habits

habit-light-disruption

Image by Roland

The addition of a light-sensitive protein to a small part of a rat’s brain allowed researchers to silence the neurons in the infralimbic cortex (ILC) with a flash of yellow light, delivered to the rat’s brain via an optic fiber. The light flashes for three seconds and the habit disappears.

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Optogenetics Allows Light to Control Brains

optogenetics-brain

In order to search for better cures for neurological and psychiatric diseases, researchers have had to tackle the mammalian brain and its intricate complexity of tens of billions of intertwined neurons. Since neuroscientists have yet to grasp a deeper understanding of what the brain is really doing, it has been hypothesized that light could serve as a control tool in stimulating the circuitry of the brain.

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