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Elife. 2017 Jun 14;6. pii: e25290. doi: 10.7554/eLife.25290.

Dye-enhanced visualization of rat whiskers for behavioral studies.

Author information

1
International School for Advanced Studies, Trieste, Italy.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

Visualization and tracking of the facial whiskers is required in an increasing number of rodent studies. Although many approaches have been employed, only high-speed videography has proven adequate for measuring whisker motion and deformation during interaction with an object. However, whisker visualization and tracking is challenging for multiple reasons, primary among them the low contrast of the whisker against its background. Here, we demonstrate a fluorescent dye method suitable for visualization of one or more rat whiskers. The process makes the dyed whisker(s) easily visible against a dark background. The coloring does not influence the behavioral performance of rats trained on a vibrissal vibrotactile discrimination task, nor does it affect the whiskers' mechanical properties.

KEYWORDS:

beam dynamics; fluorescence; imaging; kinematics; neuroscience; rat; tracking; whisker

PMID:
28613155
PMCID:
PMC5511012
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.25290
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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