Optogenetic techniques have been used to alter the attention spans of mice, helping to shed light on how the brain mediates internal thoughts and external distractions.

A team from New York University’s Langone Medical Center focused on the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) of the mouse brain. Introducing light-sensitive molecules into the region allowed the researchers to precisely control the firing patterns of visual TRN cells with laser pulses.

Read more at Photonics.com.