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Optogenetic manipulation of neural circuits and behavior

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 — Concurrent Symposia Session I

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

FAES Academic Center lower-level Classroom 3


  • Lex Kravitz, NIDDK


This symposium will introduce an exciting technology, Optogenetics, that has been revolutionizing neuroscience in recent years. Optogenetics refers to the genetic expression of light-activated proteins, which can be used to selectively control the activity of specific cell types in the brain. The symposium will feature five presentations from researchers who are using this technology on the NIH campus. The speakers will introduce the technology, and review their work using optogenetics to investigate motor behavior, reinforcement learning, feeding, maternal behavior, and fear conditioning. The diverse research topics in this symposium reflect how widely applicable this technology is, and the variety of problems it has helped to illuminate.

Cracking the neuronal circuits that drive goal-oriented behaviors
Yeka Aponte, NIDA

Optogenetic investigation of maternal behavior
Sarah Williams, NIMH

Optogenetic dissection of neural circuits underlying fear extinction
Olena Bukalo, NIAAA

Optogenetic silencing of motoneuron discharge during locomotor-like activity changes the phasing of rhythmic presynaptic inputs
Michael O'Donovan, NINDS

Hypothalamic circuitry contributing to feeding and satiety
Michael Krashes, NIDDK

Optogenetic insights into the behavioral functions of substantia nigra dopamine neuron; FARE Award Winner
Anton Ilango Micheal, NIDA

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