Interest in deciphering the fundamental mechanisms and processes of the human mind represents a central driving force in modern neuroscience research. Activities in support of this goal rely on advanced methodologies and engineering systems that are capable of interrogating and stimulating neural pathways, from single cells in small networks to interconnections that span the entire brain. Recent research establishes the foundations for a broad range of creative neurotechnologies that enable unique modes of operation in this context. This review focuses on those systems with proven utility in animal model studies and with levels of technical maturity that suggest a potential for broad deployment to the neuroscience community in the relatively near future. We include a brief summary of existing and emerging neuroscience techniques, as background for a primary focus on device technologies that address associated opportunities in electrical, optical and microfluidic neural interfaces, some with multimodal capabilities. Examples of the use of these technologies in recent neuroscience studies illustrate their practical value. The vibrancy of the engineering science associated with these platforms, the interdisciplinary nature of this field of research and its relevance to grand challenges in the treatment of neurological disorders motivate continued growth of this area of study.
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