Skip to Content

An On-Off Switch for Anxiety

In this video, a mouse with a fiberoptic cable implanted into his brain explores a four-arm maze. The animal has been genetically engineered to express light-sensitive proteins in a specific part of the amygdala, a brain region linked to fear. Mice are naturally afraid of open spaces, and at the beginning of the video, the mouse spends most of his time in one corner of the maze, occasionally dashing out to explore his environment. Turning on the light (as indicated by blue text) activates a specific neural circuit, which appears to make the mouse much braver, continually exploring all the parts of the maze. The video is shown at ten times normal speed.
March 10, 2011

In this video, a mouse with a fiberoptic cable implanted into his brain explores a four-arm maze. The animal has been genetically engineered to express light-sensitive proteins in a specific part of the amygdala, a brain region linked to fear. Mice are naturally afraid of open spaces, and at the beginning of the video, the mouse spends most of his time in one corner of the maze, occasionally dashing out to explore his environment. Turning on the light (as indicated by blue text) activates a specific neural circuit, which appears to make the mouse much braver, continually exploring all the parts of the maze. The video is shown at ten times normal speed.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway

Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.