Inscopix, the neuroscience company that transformed real-time brain mapping with its miniature microscope invention, unveiled a new research product, nVoke, at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in San Diego today. nVoke combines two powerful neuroscience techniques, calcium imaging and optogenetics, into a single groundbreaking “all-optical” platform for precise measurement and modulation of brain activity patterns with light. These patterns are thought to underlie our thoughts, emotions, actions, sensations, and behavior.

Speaking at the launch, UCSF Neuroscience Program Director, Anatol Kreitzer, Ph.D., said, “Simultaneously recording and stimulating defined populations of neurons in the brain during natural behavior has been an aspiration and a long-standing challenge in the field of neuroscience. As an early-tester of nVoke, it has been exciting to experience first-hand its transformative potential for elucidating how neural circuit activity and plasticity shapes behavior, both in health and disease.”

nVoke empowers brain researchers with unprecedented technological capability in testing the causal relationship between electrical activity in specific populations of nerve cells and behavior, and in deciphering the functional interactions between groups of neurons within and across brain regions. nVoke represents a major step forward in the development of a new generation of precise, closed-loop “all-optical” devices for understanding and possibly even correcting the pathophysiology underlying psychiatric and neurological disorders such as depression, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

nVoke builds upon the same miniature microscope platform that formed the core of Inscopix’s inaugural brain mapping product, nVista, for in vivo calcium imaging. However, integrating calcium imaging and optogenetics into a single system posed a difficult technological challenge, in part due to the independent evolution of these relatively new technologies in the past decade. nVoke is the culmination of a 2-year concerted R&D effort by a transdisciplinary team of Inscopix engineers, physicists, and neuroscientists working in close partnership with leading neuroscience investigators across the globe.

Inscopix CEO and founder, Kunal Ghosh, Ph.D., said, “At Inscopix, we very much view ourselves as an integral part of Team Science. nVoke’s promise for bringing tour-de-force circuit-level investigations of brain function and behavior within reach of neuroscientists is, of course, hard to overstate. However, the unprecedented level of collaboration between the neuroscience research community and Inscopix that led to its development is equally significant. nVoke is truly emblematic of the game-changing technological innovations and scientific breakthroughs that are catalyzed when all of us in the neuroscience ecosystem work together in a cooperative and purposeful way.”