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Nat Protoc. 2013 Aug;8(8):1475-93. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2013.080. Epub 2013 Jul 11.

Closed-loop optogenetic intervention in mice.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, Irvine, California, USA.


Optogenetic interventions offer novel ways of probing, in a temporally specific manner, the roles of specific cell types in neuronal network functions of awake, behaving animals. Despite the unique potential for temporally specific optogenetic intervention in disease states, a major hurdle in its broad application to unpredictable brain states in a laboratory setting is constructing a real-time responsive system. We recently created a closed-loop system for stopping spontaneous seizures in chronically epileptic mice by using optogenetic intervention. This system performs with a very high sensitivity and specificity, and the strategy is not only relevant to epilepsy but also can also be used to react to diverse brain states in real time, with optogenetic or other interventions. The protocol presented here is highly modular and requires variable amounts of time to perform. We describe the basic construction of a complete system, and we include our downloadable custom closed-loop detection software, which can be used for this purpose.

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