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See Inside Scientific American Volume 310, Issue 3

A Look under the Hood: A New Tool Set for Neuroscientists [Video]

Technology that can image and switch brain circuits on and off is what will take neuroscience to the next level
Rafael Yuste



YouTube/TEDMED

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A comprehensive brain map is one of the grand challenges of all neuroscience. The Obama administration acknowledged as much when they launched a $100-million program for 2014 to develop new technologies to image and manipulate neural circuits. Rafael Yuste, a pioneer in developing brain-imaging techniques, and George Church, a leader in the nascent field of synthetic biology, helped put forward ideas that led to Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, or simply BRAIN. The “The Century of the Brain,” the March cover story in Scientific American describes some of the most advanced electronic and optical technologies that could help achieve a more incisive picture of brain circuitry. As a supplement to reading the article, watch this TEDMED video from last year—What Understanding the Brain Means to Science and Medicine—in which Yuste explains the rationale for building new tools to observe and tweak long chains of connected neurons.

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