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Channelrhodopsins such as channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) can drive spiking with millisecond precision in a wide variety of cells, tissues and animal species. However, several properties of this protein have limited the precision of optogenetic control. First, when ChR2 is expressed at high levels, extra spikes (for example, doublets) can occur in response to a(More)
Here we describe bi-stable channelrhodopsins that convert a brief pulse of light into a stable step in membrane potential. These molecularly engineered probes nevertheless retain millisecond-scale temporal precision. Photocurrents can be precisely initiated and terminated with different colors of light, but operate at vastly longer time scales than(More)
Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) has become an indispensable tool in neuroscience, allowing precise induction of action potentials with short light pulses. A limiting factor for many optophysiological experiments is the relatively small photocurrent induced by ChR2. We screened a large number of ChR2 point mutants and discovered a dramatic increase in photocurrent(More)
The capture and utilization of light is an exquisitely evolved process. The single-component microbial opsins, although more limited than multicomponent cascades in processing, display unparalleled compactness and speed. Recent advances in understanding microbial opsins have been driven by molecular engineering for optogenetics and by comparative genomics.(More)
Real-time activity measurements from multiple specific cell populations and projections are likely to be important for understanding the brain as a dynamical system. Here we developed frame-projected independent-fiber photometry (FIP), which we used to record fluorescence activity signals from many brain regions simultaneously in freely behaving mice. We(More)
Using light to silence electrical activity in targeted cells is a major goal of optogenetics. Available optogenetic proteins that directly move ions to achieve silencing are inefficient, pumping only a single ion per photon across the cell membrane rather than allowing many ions per photon to flow through a channel pore. Building on high-resolution(More)
Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is a microbial type rhodopsin and a light-gated cation channel that controls phototaxis in Chlamydomonas. We expressed ChR2 in COS-cells, purified it, and subsequently investigated this unusual photoreceptor by flash photolysis and UV-visible and Fourier transform infrared difference spectroscopy. Several transient photoproducts of(More)
Precisely defining the roles of specific cell types is an intriguing frontier in the study of intact biological systems and has stimulated the rapid development of genetically encoded tools for observation and control. However, targeting these tools with adequate specificity remains challenging: most cell types are best defined by the intersection of two or(More)
Top-down prefrontal cortex inputs to the hippocampus have been hypothesized to be important in memory consolidation, retrieval, and the pathophysiology of major psychiatric diseases; however, no such direct projections have been identified and functionally described. Here we report the discovery of a monosynaptic prefrontal cortex (predominantly anterior(More)
Channelrhodopsins are light-gated ion channels that mediate vision in phototactic green algae like Chlamydomonas. In neurosciences, channelrhodopsins are widely used to light-trigger action potentials in transfected cells. All known channelrhodopsins preferentially conduct H(+). Previous studies have indicated the existence of an early and a late conducting(More)