“Mr. Smith, you feel sad because you have 4 extra norepinephrine molecules in synapse Q4.0007.496×738 in the nucleus accumbens. Luckily with these tiny tweezers here we can just pluck them out!”
For a summer, I studied the retina, which has 7 well-defined layers:
-The rods and cones respond to light.
-Then the information gets transferred to the next layers of cells.
-By the time the information reaches the brain, it is in the form of a code of action potentials.
From my understanding of the field, we are still far from taking a readout of action potentials from the optic nerve and generating the image that the rods and cones saw. It would be even cooler if we could look at a bunch of action potentials in the brain and know the person’s precise thought.
But a “neuroscience-based” psychiatry would be even more ambitious. It would say: look, here are the few neurons that are the culprit of your OCD or depression. Let’s change them.