24 May 2017 Optical imaging of the rat brain suggests a previously missing link between top-down and bottom-up nervous system function
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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.
© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Susan A. Greenfield, Antoine-Scott Badin, Giovanni Ferrati, Ian M. Devonshire, "Optical imaging of the rat brain suggests a previously missing link between top-down and bottom-up nervous system function," Neurophotonics 4(3), 031213 (24 May 2017). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.NPh.4.3.031213 . Submission: Received: 12 January 2017; Accepted: 26 April 2017
Received: 12 January 2017; Accepted: 26 April 2017; Published: 24 May 2017
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