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Neuroscience method of optogenetics as good as electrical stimulation
Date:12/12/2013

an area of the brain involved in registering the location of salient objects in the visual world," said Sheinberg who added that the experimental task was more cognitively sophisticated than those tested in optogenetics experiments in nonhuman primates before.

The main task for the subjects was to fixate on a central point in middle of the screen and then to look toward the letter "T" when it appeared around the edge of the screen. In some trials, they had to decide quickly between the T and a similar looking "+" or "" character presented on opposite ends of the screen. They were rewarded if they glanced toward the T.

Before beginning those trials, the researchers had carefully placed a very thin combination sensor of an optical fiber and an electrode amid a small population of cells in the LIP of each subject. Then they mapped where on the screen an object should be in order for them to detect a response in those cells. They called that area the receptive field. With this information, they could then look to see what difference either optical or electrical stimulation of those cells would have on the subject's inclination to look when the T or the distracting character appeared at various locations in visual space.

They found that stimulating with either method increased both subjects' accuracy in choosing the target when it appeared in their receptive field. They also found the primates became less accurate when the distracting character appeared in their receptive field. Generally accuracy was unchanged when neither character was in the receptive field.

In other words, the stimulation of a particular group of LIP cells significantly biased the subjects to look at objects that appeared in the receptive field associated with those cells. Either stimulation method could therefore make the subjects more accurate or effectively distract them from making the right choice.

The magnitude of the difference made by either stimul
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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3 4

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