Dr. Xue HanThe Wired article Laser-Controlled Humans Closer to Reality said
Flashes of light may one day be used to control the human brain, and that day just got a lot closer.
Using lasers, researchers at the MIT Media Lab were able to activate a specific set of neurons in a monkey’s brain. Though the technique has been used to control and explore neural circuits in fish, flies, and rodents, this is the first time the much-hyped technology has ever been used in primates.
“It paves the way for new therapies that could target a number of psychiatric disorders,” said MIT neuroscientist Ed Boyden, who led the research with postdoctoral fellow Xue Han. “This is very exciting from a translational standpoint.”
Xue Han, Ph.D. is Helen Hay Whitney Fellow,
MIT McGovern Institute and MIT Media Lab,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Her objective is to develop radical new genetic, molecular, and optical neurotechnologies and application protocols to treat neurological and psychiatric diseases.
Xue coauthored High-performance genetically targetable optical neural silencing by light-driven proton pumps, Dynamic sensitivity of area V4 neurons during saccade preparation, Millisecond-Timescale Optical Control of Neural Dynamics in the Nonhuman Primate Brain, Informational Lesions: Optical Perturbation of Spike Timing and Neural Synchrony Via Microbial Opsin Gene Fusions, Multiple-Color Optical Activation, Silencing, and Desynchronization of Neural Activity, with Single-Spike Temporal Resolution, Structural Transitions in the Synaptic SNARE Complex during Calcium triggered exocytosis, and Electrostatic interactions between the syntaxin membrane anchor and neurotransmitter passing through the fusion pore.
Xue earned her B.S. in Biophysics and Physiology at Beijing University, Beijing, China in 2000 and her Ph.D. in Physiology at the University of WisconsinMadison in 2004 with the thesis Molecular Composition and Regulation of the Fusion Pore of Calcium Triggered Exocytosis.
Read Neuroengineers silence brain cells with multiple colors of light.