Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Neuroscientists at UCL have used laser beams to “switch on” neurons in mice, providing new insight into the hidden workings of memory and showing how memories underpin the brain’s inner GPS system.

The study, published in the journal Cell, explains how researchers harnessed an ‘all-optical’ approach using twin lasers to simultaneously read and write the activity of ‘‘ (a type of neuron) in mice, as they navigated a .

Remarkably, by stimulating the place cells, scientists were able to reactivate (or retrieve) the of a location where the