UC Newsroom | October 25th, 2016

UC scientists awarded more than $9 million from federal BRAIN Initiative

Fourteen University of California research teams will share $9.5 million from the federal government’s BRAIN Initiative, part of $70 million in new grants announced by the National Institutes of Health. This is the third round of grants to support the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative announced three years ago […]

UC Berkeley News | October 14th, 2016

Four projects garner $1.7 million from federal BRAIN initiative

Four UC Berkeley research teams will share $1.7 million from the federal government’s BRAIN initiative, part of $70 million in new grants announced Thursday, Oct. 13, by the National Institutes of Health. This is the third round of grants to support the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative announced three years […]

HHMI Janelia News | October 6th, 2016

New Tool Will Help Expand Scope of Neural Circuit Research

Scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus and University of California, Berkeley have developed a powerful new tool for neuroscientists—a viral vector called rAAV2-retro, which efficiently enters and travels through the long neuronal projections that connect different regions of the brain. Genetically-encoded tools for labeling cells or monitoring or manipulating their activity can […]

Daily Mail | April 6th, 2016

Mind-control MICROSCOPE changes the behaviour of mice in an instant

In a breakthrough that wouldn’t look out of place in a science fiction film, researchers said they have been able to control the minds of living animals by tweaking the activity of their brain cells. Using a specialised microscope to tweak activity of brain circuits, they were able to control the behaviour of mice, leading […]

The Scientist | March 1st, 2016

Sleep Circuit: A web of cell types in one of the brain’s chief wake centers keeps animals up—but also puts them to sleep

Early studies attempting to untangle the neurological basis of sleep typically removed or injured part of an animal’s brain to measure the effects. The results implicated a region called the basal forebrain in inducing sleep, yet some studies indicated that it was important for arousal. “The impression is that maybe in that region there’s a […]

NIH BRAIN Update | February 22nd, 2016

NIH BRAIN Initiative Publication Roundup – late February 2016

Optogenetics—the ability to use light to manipulate the activity of neurons with genetically expressed light sensitive ion channels—is a powerful technique for mapping neural circuits and determining the roles populations of neurons play in a variety of behaviors. To understand the subcellular, molecular basis of brain function, however, requires the manipulation of natively expressed signaling […]

Berkeley Neuroscience News | February 18, 2016

New Zeiss Berkeley BrainMIC course provides training in use of state-of-the-art optical neurotechniques

By Georgeann Sack The Zeiss Berkeley Brain Microscopy Innovation Center (BrainMIC) held its inaugural “4D Advanced Microscopy of Brain Circuits” course in January 2016. The intensive week-long course provided theory and hands-on experience to 16 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers eager to learn how to use the latest optical neurotechnologies of the Federal BRAIN Initiative. […]

Berkeley Neuroscience News | February 16, 2016

Light-activated antagonists for the GABA A receptor family

A comprehensive toolkit to advance the study of inhibition on the cellular, circuit, and organismal level by Georgeann Sack The precise excitatory signaling of the nervous system would be impossible without inhibition. Inhibition returns neurons to their baseline state, so that a subsequent excitatory signal can rise above the noise. Without inhibition, there is only […]

NIH BRAIN Update | December 29th, 2015

Family of light-sensitive inhibitory receptors enables precise control of neural activity

Researchers have genetically modified the entire family of GABAA receptor subtypes, which mediate inhibitory synaptic transmission in the brain, to make them controllable with pulses of light with high spatial, temporal, and biochemical precision. GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, providing a counterpoint to glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter. […]

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