Closed-loop Optogenetic Stimulation
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Feedback systems are pervasive throughout nature, and the brain is no exception. From processes occurring on a molecular level to interactions between different anatomical regions, the endogenous input to these systems depends largely on their previous output (Arsiero, Luscher, & Giugliano, 2007). Yet these closed-loop influences are largely neglected in the majority of experimental designs (Arsiero, Luscher, & Giugliano, 2007). Instead, the neural response is ascribed purely to the applied stimulation, whereas the state of the system prior to stimulation is ignored.Instead of stimulating ‘blindly’, a closed-loop approach allows one to stimulate the system according to its current state. This approach has been applied for years in the field of control engineering. Applying this well studied framework to in vivo neuroscience experiments can greatly benefit the precision with which complex dynamics can be studied.