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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Dec 23. pii: 201902284. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1902284116. [Epub ahead of print]

Primate optogenetics: Progress and prognosis.

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Department of Neuroscience, Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027;
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Washington National Primate Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195


Monkeys are a premier model organism for neuroscience research. Activity in the central nervous systems of monkeys can be recorded and manipulated while they perform complex perceptual, motor, or cognitive tasks. Conventional techniques for manipulating neural activity in monkeys are too coarse to address many of the outstanding questions in primate neuroscience, but optogenetics holds the promise to overcome this hurdle. In this article, we review the progress that has been made in primate optogenetics over the past 5 years. We emphasize the use of gene regulatory sequences in viral vectors to target specific neuronal types, and we present data on vectors that we engineered to target parvalbumin-expressing neurons. We conclude with a discussion of the utility of optogenetics for treating sensorimotor hearing loss and Parkinson's disease, areas of translational neuroscience in which monkeys provide unique leverage for basic science and medicine.


monkey; optogenetics; primate

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