September 25, 2012


Can we understand the dynamics of nervous system of any animal well enough to be able to control all of its behaviors? What are the key circuits in the underlying neural networks that we need to control to hijack the animal’s behaviors? This is a difficult question to answer even in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, which has only 302 neurons interconnected through 7000 synapses. To find food, the animal uses a combination of reversals and turns to detect and track attractive signals in its environment. It then moves up the gradient of these signals in the hope of finding food. We asked if we could directly control chemotactic behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans by driving appropriate electrical activity patterns in nervous system.

jounal reference (only the abstract is free): nature>>