Deciphering memory function with optogenetics

Anna Beyeler, Christine A. Eckhardt, Kay M. Tye
Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science. 2014-01-01; : 341-390
DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-420170-5.00012-X

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Optogenetics has accelerated the field of neuroscience by overcoming many of the
spatial, genetic, and temporal limitations of previous techniques to control
neural activity. The study of learning and memory has profoundly benefited from
these tools mainly from their use in rodents. New insights have been made
regarding the involvement of specific cell types or populations of synapses in
the acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval of memories. The cellular
specificity and temporal precision of optogenetic manipulations have also shown
to be useful to study synaptic mechanisms supporting learning and memory
including long-term synaptic plasticity. Recently, new light-sensitive molecules
have been developed to control intracellular pathways or gene expression, which
promise to enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanism of memory

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