Optogenetics with microbial opsin genes, and pharmacogenetics with designer receptors, represent potent and versatile experimental modalities that can be integrated with each other as well as with a rich diversity of synergistic methods to provide fundamental opportunities in neuroscience research. The 7th Annual Brain Research Meeting in New Orleans in October 2012, Optogenetics and Pharmacogenetics in Neuronal Function and Dysfunction, brought together leading researchers that have developed and used these tools to explore a wide range of questions in nervous system function and dysfunction. This special issue of Brain Research includes articles by speakers in this meeting and others, which together synthesize and summarize the state of the art for optogenetics and designer receptors.
Aston-Jones G and Deisseroth K: Recent advances in optogenetics and pharmacogenetics. Brain Research 1511: 1-5 (2013).