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Mapping the brain with lasers

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Individual parts of the brain can be activated and de-activated by shining light on the neurons, and researchers are using this ability to chart how different areas of the brain function. To zoom in on individual neuron circuits within the brain, more precise light sources are needed. Euisik Yoon, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, is leading a team that will design and build these new light sources with a variety of lasers.

The $2 million grant is part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, a program championed by the White House and administered by the National Institutes of Health. Kensall Wise, the William Gould Dow Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at U-M, and György Buzsáki, the Biggs Professor of Neural Sciences at the New York University School of Medicine are co-investigators.

The project is called “Modular high-density optoelectrodes for local circuit analysis.” Yoon is also a professor of biomedical engineering. Wise is also the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing Technology, a professor of biomedical engineering, and a professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences.

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