Identification and manipulation of different GABAergic interneuron classes in the behaving animal are important to understand their role in circuit dynamics and behavior. The combination of optogenetics and large-scale neuronal recordings allows specific interneuron populations to be identified and perturbed for circuit analysis in intact animals. A crucial aspect of this approach is coupling electrophysiological recording with spatially and temporally precise light delivery. Focal multisite illumination of neuronal activators and silencers in predetermined temporal configurations or a closed loop manner opens the door to addressing many novel questions. Recent progress demonstrates the utility and power of this novel technique for interneuron research.