Cellular Resolution Functional Imaging in Behaving Rats Using Voluntary Head Restraint

Benjamin B. Scott, Carlos D. Brody, David W. Tank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


High-throughput operant conditioning systems for rodents provide efficient training on sophisticated behavioral tasks. Combining these systems with technologies for cellular resolution functional imaging would provide a powerful approach to study neural dynamics during behavior. Here we describe an integrated two-photon microscope and behavioral apparatus that allows cellular resolution functional imaging of cortical regions during epochs of voluntary head restraint. Rats were trained to initiate periods of restraint up to 8s in duration, which provided the mechanical stability necessary for invivo imaging while allowing free movement between behavioral trials. A mechanical registration system repositioned the head to within a few microns, allowing the same neuronal populations to be imaged on each trial. In proof-of-principle experiments, calcium-dependent fluorescence transients were recorded from GCaMP-labeled cortical neurons. In contrast to previous methods for head restraint, this system can be incorporated into high-throughput operant conditioning systems

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-384
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 16 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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