Optics in Neuroscience

Friday, 13 February 2015: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room 230A (San Jose Convention Center)
Elizabeth Hillman, Columbia University, New York, NY
Optics in Neuroscience:

The advent of fluorescent proteins, and more recently calcium-sensitive GCaMP fluorophores and optogenetics have brought the ability to directly observe and manipulate cellular function in living organisms. Modern optical imaging and microscopy techniques can now provide high-speed, 3D imaging and photo-manipulation in intact living tissues. Combined, these developments have made optical techniques a core component of modern neuroscience research. However, much development is still needed since imaging the brain poses some of the most significant challenges for optical techniques, with the need to control light and capture high-resolution volumetric images at very high speeds, deep within intact, scattering tissue. Optical techniques are thus central to the recent BRAIN initiative, which has recognized the importance of developing new tools that will bring breakthroughs in understanding the workings of the human mind in health and disease. This talk will showcase recent developments in optics related to neuroscience research and will look to the future of brain research involving light.