Over the past decades, neuroscientists have made great strides to map brain regions and allocate specific functions to them. Electrical recordings and lesioning studies have been essential for this task. However, most lesioning methods destroy areas larger than intended and may unintentionally remove connecting pathways between other distant regions. They also don’t give any clues about the types of neurons involved or whether their involvement is activating, inhibiting, or modulating. Viral vectors, in contrast, are considerably more versatile and specific in how they manipulate neuronal function, with far fewer side effects compared to lesioning methods - they may be the key to further unraveling the mysteries of behavior.