Learn basic approaches for implementing optogenetics methods to investigate brain function, including how to choose optogenetics versus other approaches, parameters for opsin selection, and pros and cons of different delivery methods.
After reviewing the materials in Module 2, you should be able to:
- Identify the advantages and disadvantages of optogenetic techniques compared to other techniques that explore the neural basis of behavior.
- Understand the basic parameters of optogenetic tools.
- Understand how to design appropriate light trains for optogenetic stimulation by taking account of the kinetics of optogenetic actuators.
- Describe how to obtain and validate expression of optogenetic tools.
- Identify factors important to consider when using optogenetic tools in combination with each other or other optical methods.
- Describe pros and cons of different opsin delivery methods.
- Comprehend the importance of adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotypes in regulating tropism, retrograde versus anterograde transport, and other factors.
Visit the Community forum for all eight modules to share your insights and best practices, ask questions, and engage with other training series’ participants.
Complete this short survey to provide valuable feedback about Module 2 to SfN and the series faculty.
Module 2A: Implementing Optogenetics in the Lab – Why Use Optogenetic Methods?
In this presentation, Christina Gremel will cover why and when to use optogenetics to investigate brain function. Specifically, Gremel will:
- Identify the advantages and disadvantages of optogenetic techniques compared to other techniques, such as lesions, pharmacological manipulation, and chemogenetics, to manipulate brain function.
After watching this presentation, you should be able to gain a general understanding on what optogenetics offers when exploring neural bases of behavior.
Module 2B: Selection of Opsins
In this presentation, Vikaas Sohal will provide an overview of the “basic operating parameters” for optogenetic tools. Specifically, Sohal will:
- Describe how to consider opsin kinetics when designing light trains for stimulation.
- Describe how to validate the expression of optogenetic tools.
- Identify important considerations when combining optogenetic tools with each other or other optical methods.
After watching this presentation, you should be able to understand the critical considerations when selecting optogenetic tools.
Module 2C: Delivery of Opsins
In this presentation, Mario Penzo will describe the various strategies commonly employed for the delivery of bacterial opsins to the nervous system. Specifically, Penzo will:
- Describe different opsin delivery methods, such as virus injection, electroporation, and use of transgenic mice.
- Identify, for a particular delivery strategy (adeno-associated virus vectors), the importance of the various serotypes available.
After watching this presentation, you should be able to understand the pros and cons of the different opsin delivery methods.
Module 2D: Supporting Resources for Implementing Optogenetics in the Lab — Getting Started
The articles here were selected by Christina Gremel, Vikaas Sohal, and Mario Penzo, faculty from Module 2 of SfN’s Optogenetics Training Series. These resources supplement their presentations, Implementing Optogenetics in the Lab: Why Use Optogenetic Methods, Selection of Opsins, and Delivery of Opsins.
Use these resources to understand when to choose optogenetics versus other approaches, pros and cons of different opsin delivery methods, and available sources of optogenetic tools.