How Scientists Can Manipulate Memories With Light

Scientists have found a way to trick the brain using light and optogenetics. What implications could this have for the future of medicine?

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Optogenetics: Controlling the Brain with Light
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/optogenetics-controlling/
“Optogenetics is the combination of genetics and optics to control well-defined events within specific cells of living tissue. It includes the discovery and insertion into cells of genes that confer light responsiveness; it also includes the associated technologies for delivering light deep into organisms as complex as freely moving mammals, for targeting light-sensitivity to cells of interest, and for assessing specific readouts, or effects, of this optical control.”

Zap Your Brain to Change Your Mood
http://www.seeker.com/zap-your-brain-to-change-your-mood-1769455259.html
“I had my brain zapped to change my mood, and I lived to tell the tale. At a private demo with Thync at CES 2015, I experienced a futuristic electroshock therapy aimed at making me feel better. It involved sitting with a small module attached to my forehead for 15 minutes while electric currents passed through my nerves to my brain.”

Optogenetics: controlling cell function with light
http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v8/n1/full/nmeth.f.323.html
“In optogenetics, exogenous genes coding for light-sensitive proteins are expressed in cells, and illumination is used to alter cellular behavior. Optogenetics involves the development of light-sensitive proteins, strategies for delivering their genes to specific cells, targeted illumination and finally, compatible readouts for reporting on changes in cell, tissue and animal behavior.”

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