To understand how function arises from the interactions between neurons, it is necessary to use methods that allow the monitoring of brain activity at the single-neuron, single-spike level and the targeted manipulation of the diverse neuron types selectively in a closed-loop manner. Large-scale recordings of neuronal spiking combined with optogenetic perturbation of identified individual neurons has emerged as a suitable method for such tasks in behaving animals. To fully exploit the potential power of these methods, multiple steps of technical innovation are needed. We highlight the current state of the art in electrophysiological recording methods, combined with optogenetics, and discuss directions for progress. In addition, we point to areas where rapid development is in progress and discuss topics where near-term improvements are possible and needed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by National Institute of Health Grants NS34994, MH54671, NIH 1U01NS090526, 1R21EB019221, and NS074015; NSF ECCS 1407977 the Human Frontier Science Program; and the National Science Foundation (Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center Grant SBE 0542013). A.B. was supported by a Marie Curie FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IOF grant (number 254780), EU-FP7-ERC-2013-Starting grant (number 337075), and the “Lendület” program of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. E.S. was supported by the Rothschild Foundation, the Human Frontiers in Science Project (LT-000346/2009-L), and the Machiah Foundation (20090098). A.B. is the founder and owner of Amplipex Ltd., Szeged, Hungary, which manufactures signal-multiplexed head stages and demultiplexing systems. D.R.K. is the founder and current executive director of NeuroNexus Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Greatbatch, Inc.
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