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Optical imaging of the rat brain suggests a previously missing link between top-down and bottom-up nervous system function
Author(s): Susan A. Greenfield; Antoine-Scott Badin; Giovanni Ferrati; Ian M. Devonshire
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Paper Abstract

Optical imaging with voltage-sensitive dyes enables the visualization of extensive yet highly transient coalitions of neurons (assemblies) operating throughout the brain on a subsecond time scale. We suggest that operating at the mesoscale level of brain organization, neuronal assemblies may provide a functional link between “bottom-up” cellular mechanisms and “top-down” cognitive ones within anatomically defined regions. We demonstrate in ex vivo rat brain slices how varying spatiotemporal dynamics of assemblies reveal differences not previously appreciated between: different stages of development in cortical versus subcortical brain areas, different sensory modalities (hearing versus vision), different classes of psychoactive drugs (anesthetics versus analgesics), different effects of anesthesia linked to hyperbaric conditions and, in vivo, depths of anesthesia. The strategy of voltage-sensitive dye imaging is therefore as powerful as it is versatile and as such can now be applied to the evaluation of neurochemical signaling systems and the screening of related new drugs, as well as to mathematical modeling and, eventually, even theories of consciousness.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 May 2017
PDF: 16 pages
Neurophoton. 4(3) 031213 doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.4.3.031213
Published in: Neurophotonics Volume 4, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Susan A. Greenfield, Neuro-Bio Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Antoine-Scott Badin, Neuro-Bio Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Giovanni Ferrati, Neuro-Bio Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Ian M. Devonshire, Nottingham Univ. Medical School (United Kingdom)

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