Sculpted Light in the Brain is a recurring conference (founded in 2017) aimed at fostering collaborations between neuroscientists, computer scientists, optics researchers, and other scientists who share the common interest of using and developing novel technologies to observe and control neural activity in the awake, behaving brain. “Sculpted Light” refers to a broad class of methods where light is shaped to probe neural function.
The meeting aims to promote future collaboration opportunities by gathering established scientists and the next generation of researchers from these fields to discuss future technologies that will enable real time optical communication with the living brain.
In an interview with Scientifica released yesterday, Dr Packer discusses the conference, including which topics and techniques are covered and how to register to attend. The full interview can be viewed here.
Neuroscience has been revolutionised by the use of light to interrogate brain function. We have calcium imaging for monitoring the activity of neurons and parts of neurons, and we have optogenetics for manipulating neural activity. Sculpted light refers to the process of changing the shape of light to make it more useful for both imaging and photostimulation purposes, and that's the fundamental theme of this conference. With the advent of novel optical approaches, the conventional electrical recording and manipulation methods are being complimented and at times even replaced with these light-based approaches. But we still have a lot of work to do to reach the speed, specificity and range necessary to understand and control neural activity. And that's what we want to talk about: sculpted light in the brain to better understand brain function - Dr Adam Packer
Dr Packer previously developed a new approach using two-photon imaging and optogenetics to both readout and manipulate neural circuit activity in vivo. His group here at DPAG uses all-optical interrogation techniques that he helped pioneer to investigate neural coding principles.
Dr Packer has more than 10 years of experience designing, building, and optimising two-photon microscopes to expand their capabilities, with specific expertise in optogenetics, calcium imaging, multi-cell targeted photostimulation, digital holography, and software development.