Schematic of the stimulation process used in animal studies. Credit: RIKEN Brain Science Institute
A new less invasive way for researchers to stimulate the brain with light - short science news

One of the most powerful techniques in neuroscience research today is the optogenetic stimulation of the brain. It enables researchers to specifically activate or inhibit groups of neurons in living organisms. However, this technique is invasive, as it requires implantation of optic fibers in the brain. The good news is that a less invasive alternative has now been developed. This improvement uses near-infrared light delivered through a lens applied on the head, so no surgical implant is required. This will reduce the stress of animals involved in scientific research and provided new insights into the mysteries of the brain.

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Scientific publication: Science