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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2016 May 2;8(5). pii: a021824. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a021824.

Large-Scale Fluorescence Calcium-Imaging Methods for Studies of Long-Term Memory in Behaving Mammals.

Author information

  • 1CNC Program, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305.
  • 2CNC Program, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305 James H. Clark Center for Biomedical Engineering & Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305.

Abstract

During long-term memory formation, cellular and molecular processes reshape how individual neurons respond to specific patterns of synaptic input. It remains poorly understood how such changes impact information processing across networks of mammalian neurons. To observe how networks encode, store, and retrieve information, neuroscientists must track the dynamics of large ensembles of individual cells in behaving animals, over timescales commensurate with long-term memory. Fluorescence Ca(2+)-imaging techniques can monitor hundreds of neurons in behaving mice, opening exciting avenues for studies of learning and memory at the network level. Genetically encoded Ca(2+) indicators allow neurons to be targeted by genetic type or connectivity. Chronic animal preparations permit repeated imaging of neural Ca(2+) dynamics over multiple weeks. Together, these capabilities should enable unprecedented analyses of how ensemble neural codes evolve throughout memory processing and provide new insights into how memories are organized in the brain.

PMID:
27048190
DOI:
10.1101/cshperspect.a021824
[PubMed - in process]

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