"Breakthrough of the Decade", Science 2010
Optogenetics is a method used to target the manipulation of nerve cells. Current research at the German Primate Center (DPZ) will determine if this method which has been developed in mice, can deliver comparable results for future insights in the higher brain functions of primates.
The platform "Neuro-Optogenetics" will use this technology in non-human primates (rhesus monkeys) and will examine their potential for neuro-scientific issues in several sub-projects. It is particularly important to generate new results on key questions in brain research in the fields of sensory attention, decision-making and neuroprosthetics. For this purpose, several research groups at the DPZ and the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) want to enhance the development of the virus-based transfection method of optogenetics for the application in primates. In addition, we will implement our novel DPZ patented methods.
We expect substantial progress in our understanding of basic brain functions, justifying the cognitive performance of primates, and hence of us humans.