Journal Article Neuronal and behavioural modulations by pathway-selective optogenetic stimulation of the primate oculomotor system

Inoue, Ken-ichi  ,  Takada, Masahiko  ,  Matsumoto, Masayuki

6p.8378 , 2015-09 , Nature Publishing Group
Optogenetics enables temporally and spatially precise control of neuronal activity in vivo. One of the key advantages of optogenetics is that it can be used to control the activity of targeted neural pathways that connect specific brain regions. While such pathway-selective optogenetic control is a popular tool in rodents, attempts at modulating behaviour using pathway-selective optogenetics have not yet been successful in primates. Here we develop a methodology for pathway-selective optogenetics in macaque monkeys, focusing on the pathway from the frontal eye field (FEF) to the superior colliculus (SC), part of the complex oculomotor network. We find that the optogenetic stimulation of FEF projections to the SC modulates SC neuron activity and is sufficient to evoke saccadic eye movements towards the response field corresponding to the stimulation site. Thus, our results demonstrate the feasibility of using pathway-selective optogenetics to elucidate neural network function in primates.

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