Ben talks with Michael Hausser, a researcher who reads and writes information to and from brain cells with laser signals. This area of neuroscience – known as optogenetics – is one of the fastest-moving fields in science today, and Hausser and his team are on the cutting edge of it.
They’ve just designed a new system that can read output from networks of neurons, select specific neurons to target in response to that output, shoot laser signals at the selected neurons, listen for a response from them, change targets again, and repeat – holding active dialogues with neural networks in the brains of living, awake animals.
Michael’s on the show today to talk about this new project, about the science of optogenetics and how it relates to connectomics, and about what the near future holds for computerized interaction with living animals’ brains.
Enjoy, and feel free to email us questions and suggestions for next time!
(Produced by Tim Udall)