Brain implant enables remote control of social interactions between mice

A first-of-a-kind brain implant has allowed scientists to program social interactions in mice

By using light to target genetically modified neurons, scientists are demonstrating new and exciting ways to control very specific regions of the brain. Known as optogenetics, this technique has the potential to treat many debilitating health conditions ranging from paralysis to blindness. Scientists at Northwestern University have broken new ground in this area, using a novel implant to program social interactions between mice for the first time, which they say lays the groundwork for understanding the way hierarchies and relationships are formed in complex groups of individuals.

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