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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Dr. Tatjana Tchumatchenko, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Max-von-Laue-Str. 4, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. e-mail: tatjana.tchumatchenko@brain.mpg.de

We thank L. Abbott, K. Miller, and S. Fusi for fruitful discussions. We thank M. LaPlaca for providing tissue and J. T. Shoemaker for performing tissue harvests.

We thank N. Laxpati, and the Kaplan Lab for assistance with virus production. We thank P. Wenner for patch recording expertise.

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


Research Funding:

Tatjana Tchumatchenko was funded by Volkswagen Foundation and the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, Columbia University.

Experimental work was supported by NSF COPN grant 1238097 and NIH grant 1R01NS079757-01.

Additionally, this work was supported by NSF GRFP Fellowship 08-593 to Jonathan P. Newman, NSF GRFP Fellowship 09-603 to Ming-fai Fong, and NSF IGERT Fellowship DGE-0333411 to Jonathan P. Newman and Ming-fai Fong.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Neurosciences
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • channelrhodopsin-2
  • linear response theory
  • dynamical systems
  • neural circuits
  • networks and dynamical systems
  • circuit dynamics
  • optogenetics
  • electrophysiology methods
  • Coincidence detection
  • Neurons
  • Population
  • Noise
  • Cells

Delivery of continuously-varying stimuli using channelrhodopsin-2


Journal Title:

Frontiers in Neural Circuits


Volume 7


, Pages 184-184

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


To study sensory processing, stimuli are delivered to the sensory organs of animals and evoked neural activity is recorded downstream. However, noise and uncontrolled modulatory input can interfere with repeatable delivery of sensory stimuli to higher brain regions. Here we show how channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) can be used to deliver continuous, subthreshold, time-varying currents to neurons at any point along the sensory-motor pathway. To do this, we first deduce the frequency response function of ChR2 using a Markov model of channel kinetics. We then confirm ChR2's frequency response characteristics using continuously-varying optical stimulation of neurons that express one of three ChR2 variants. We find that wild-type ChR2 and the E123T/H134R mutant ("CheTA") can pass continuously-varying subthreshold stimuli with frequencies up to ~70 Hz. Additionally, we find that wild-type ChR2 exhibits a strong resonance at ~6-10 Hz. Together, these results indicate that ChR2-derived optogenetic tools are useful for delivering highly repeatable artificial stimuli that mimic in vivo synaptic bombardment. © 2013 Tchumatchenko, Newman, Fong and Potter.

Copyright information:

© 2013 Tchumatchenko, Newman, Fong and Potter.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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