Engineering fast, flexible, precise and parallel light sculpting for neural circuit elucidation
Amanda Foust (Bioengineering)
Simon Schultz (Bioengineering)
Mark Neil (Physics)
Computer-generated holography has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of how brain circuits wire and process information through simultaneous manipulation and read-out of activity in many neurons simultaneously. Geneticists recently put this goal in reach with an “optogenetic revolution,” invention of technology to electrically activate neurons and detect their activity with light. Now neuroscientists need tools to pattern light onto living brain circuits with spatial and temporal sophistication mimicking that of naturally occurring neural activity. This CDT project will engineer design solutions necessary to render holography a powerful neurophysiological tool and obtain groundbreaking data about how neural circuits learn.