Researchers at Kyoto University used optogenetic techniques to break down the protein cofilin. It is essential for optimal synapse function. The brain was first injected with an adenovirus, which delivered a protein associated with a fluorescent marker. Then they applied an optical effect and the proteins released oxygen, which deactivates cofillin.
This made it possible to locally control various parts of the brain. The technique was tested on mice. They were irradiated twice: after they had learned a new task, and while they were sleeping. As a result, the mice forgot what they had learned.