Biology

Using lasers, scientists turn mice into ferociously efficient hunters

Using lasers, scientists turn mice into ferociously efficient hunters

A blue light affixed to a mouse’s skull flicks on. In less than a second, the rodent charges toward a scuttling plastic bug, grabs the toy and ferociously nibbles at it.

Researchers at Yale University used this blue light to hijack the brains of mice. With the flip of a switch, the indifferent critters are transformed into determined hunters. This response, the researchers found, originates deep in the amygdala — commonly known as the brain’s emotion and motivation center. 

Writing in the journal Cell, neurobiologist

53°