Scientists control mouse brain by remote control

July 24, 2015

Scientists have successfully altered the neural networks of laboratory mice using a wireless controller; allowing them to study the effects of neural stimulation without invasive procedures.

mouse 1

The tiny implant, smaller than the width of a human hair, let the scientists determine the path a mouse walks using a remote control to inject drugs and shine lights on neurons inside the brain.

Neuroscientists have until now been limited to injecting drugs through larger tubes and delivering photostimulation through fiber-optic cables, both of which require surgery that can damage the brain and restrict an animal’s natural movements.

In one such experiment, mice were made to walk in circles after a drug that mimics morphine was injected into the region of the mouse’s brain that controls motivation and addiction.

The research, published recently in scientific journal Cell, could lead to the development of more minimally invasive probes to treat neurological disorders including stress, depression, addiction, and pain.