Advancing Fear Memory Research with Optogenetics

Inbal Goshen*, Anat Shapir, Yanir Mor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Despite decades of research, our understanding of how memories are formed, saved and extracted remains quite elusive. The incorporation of optogenetics (a method allowing real-time control of genetically defined neuronal populations using light-sensitive proteins) into the study of learning and memory lead to a major leap in our understanding of the networks underlying complex cognitive processes. This chapter will describe this new technique, and the breakthroughs in memory research that were achieved in recent years thanks to its incorporation. The major focus will be fear memory, as this specific paradigm attracted a large enough mass of optogenetic studies to provide a comprehensive new picture of its underlying mechanisms. Finally, the use of optogenetics for memory generation and memory enhancement will be discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationCognitive Enhancement
Subtitle of host publicationPharmacologic, Environmental and Genetic Factors
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780124171251
ISBN (Print)9780124170421
StatePublished - 8 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Amygdala
  • Fear
  • Hippocampus
  • Memory
  • Optogenetics


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