Free Article: Optogenetics: Background and Concepts for Neurosurgery

Free Article: Optogenetics: Background and Concepts for Neurosurgery

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The human brain is one of the last frontiers of our collective intellectual pursuit. Through the ages, its complexity has intrigued great thinkers from all walks of life, including scientists, philosophers, theologians, and artists. Our zeal for studying this marvelous organ has led to the development of complex and subtle techniques ranging from detailed anatomical studies to the manipulation of single molecules. Nevertheless, despite hundreds of years of devoted efforts and advances in technology, many questions about the brain remain unanswered.

A major contributor of the brain’s complexity stems from the numerous and intricate connections among its member cells, neurons, and glia, which form the network that is ultimately responsible for all the phenotypes, macroscopic or microscopic, that are observable to us. Unfortunately, because of this complexity, traditional tools such as electrical stimulation, pharmacological intervention, and even sophisticated neuroimaging studies are not capable of further dissecting the circuitry of interest with the needed resolution, either on temporal or spatial scales.

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Categories: Brain Tumor

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