Stanford researchers develop new tool for watching and controlling neural activity

A new molecular probe from Stanford University could help reveal how our brains think and remember. This tool, called Fast Light and Calcium-Regulated Expression or FLiCRE (pronounced “flicker”), can be sent inside any cell to perform a variety of research tasks, including tagging, recording and controlling cellular functions.

“This work gets at a central goal of neuroscience: How do you find the system of neurons that underlie a thought or cognitive process? Neuroscientists have been wanting this type of tool for a long time,” said Alice Ting, professor of genetics in the Stanford School of Medicine and of biology in the School of Humanities and sciences.