‘I think of it almost like science fiction’: Cameras reading minds at UO?

EUGENE, Ore. – Cristopher Niell’s lab in the UO Institute of Neuroscience is chock-full of cameras.But not normal cameras. These cameras can, in a sense, read minds. His lab has come up with a new method of looking at the brain while it’s thinking. “I think of it almost like science fiction,” says Niell. “We actually now have a mouse where we can watch the brain lighting up with activity.” The mice he’s talking about are bred with a special protein in their brain cells that lights up when there’s activity in that cell. From here, the mice can be trained or exposed to stimuli, and researchers can observe the response in the brain. What’s new about this technique is the ability to zoom out and get a “global” view…


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