News & Media

June 24, 2015

Switching off brain circuit renders mice “out of touch” with environment

Outline

An international collaboration led by Dr. Masanori Murayama of the RIKEN Brain Science Institute has found that the sense of touch, which we often take for granted in daily life because it seems simple and automatic, is actually complex, and that its apparent simplicity comes from a clever two-stage brain circuit. By manipulating this circuit with light-driven optical genetic tools, they made laboratory mice literally “lose touch” with their surroundings as their feet became unable to sense rough or smooth surfaces.

Press release: Switching off brain circuit renders mice “out of touch” with environment