“3D Shot” Stimulates Neural Activity With Holographic Laser Light

3D point cloud holographic technology has been successfully used to stimulate individual neurons at different depths in the brain. The test was performed on mice, but they’re not quite at that stage of application.

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Originally scientists would transplant a photosensitive algae protein called Opsin in to the neurons of an animal and then install fiber optic cables around the opsin filled neurons. By lighting up a fiber optic cable in the Brain they could invoke various behaviors and emotions like freezing, running aggression or hunger.

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However the fiber optic cable also made it difficult to distinguish what individual neurons we’re responsible, as it would activate too many of them at once – a term called “flood illumination”. Making it impossible to come to a serious conclusion about any one of them alone. With this new experiment they are able to target separate neurons at different depths of the brain.

Unfortunately the “Opsin” protein originally transplanted from algae was not sufficient enough for the new experiment so they engineered their own “soma targeted optogenetic tools” i.e. artificial proteins ST-ChroME and IRES-ST-eGtACR1 based on what they’ve learned from photosensitive proteins like Opsin.

The second figure below illustrates what scientist call “3D-Shot” A femtosecond infrared laser beam that pulses a spherical phase pattern through a diffraction grating in order to create a Custom Temporarily Focused Pattern (CTFP) in the shape of a pyramidal neuron (below)

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Pyramidal Neuron – Richard Hakim

That temporary 3d dimensional pattern of laser light then strikes a Spatial Light Modulator (SLM), splitting it up in to 50 smaller self similiar holograms that penetrate a part of the mouses cortex 550 × 550 × 100-µm3 in volume, activating neurons at different scales in the brain. All accomplished with sub-millisecond accuracy. An impressive feat to say the least.

After the Blue Brain Project discovered a vast tapestry of multidimensional algebra playing out on the neo-cortex (the latest evolutionary layer) scientists have since been fascinated with understanding, editing and potentially re-creating the brains own symbolic mathematical code. The potential applications are certainly science fiction worthy.

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Blue Brain Project

In the future for example you may be able transform the way your brain processes information by combining genetic engineering and holography. Presently a radical procedure that could eventually be simplified like most other modern medical applications. This may potentially be used to increase IQ, remove painful memories and heal mental illnesses just to name a few.

Of course the research has raised ethical questions as well. Hypothetically the same technology could potentially be used by various alphabet agencies to eliminate memories (from terrorists or otherwise) that contain top secret information. Some people may say “why not?” while others may wonder exactly who will qualify as a terrorist in that case.

Both the method and discoveries made are rather frankensteinesque in some ways and in other ways could come to bear an extremely positive effect upon people with mental dysfunctions. Ideally it could even be used as a means of optimizing humanity. Although that brings with it a whole other set of ethical contemplation. What if you could restore defunct memories in dementia or alzheimers, or even fix schizophrenia and depression by re-mapping functional networks? and whose has the right to choose whether or not we only use the technology to correct aberrations?

05/09/18 Holograms Can Now Program Brain Activity—Are Fake Experiences Next?

04/30/18 Precise Multimodal optical control of neural ensemble activity

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