Watch the first video of a thought taking shape

It might not look like much, but researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Genetics believe they’ve captured the first-ever video of a thought forming inside a brain.

Using a sensitive fluorescent probe that detects neuronal activity, the group recorded neural activity inside a larval zebrafish’s brain when it sees a moving spot on a display, then went on to record activity when the zebrafish saw prey, in this case swimming paramecium.

“In the future, we can interpret an animal’s behavior, including learning and memory, fear, joy, or anger, based on the activity of particular combinations of neurons,” Koichi Kawakami of Japan’s National Institute of Genetics explained. He thinks they could eventually be able to use the technology to test chemicals that impact neuronal activity, and “shorten the long processes for the development of new psychiatric medications.”

Read the rest at Current Biology.