Representatives of the University of California, Los Angeles, have designed a microscope that will make it possible to monitor brain activity in animals. It’s time to use it soon.
Measuring about 2.5 centimeters long and weighing less than 4 grams, it is a device designed to capture the activity of neurons. The collected data is sent through a thin cable to a computer, where it can be analyzed. In the end, this offers much greater possibilities than before in the field of studying brain activity.
These types of devices are called minibands. To date, they have been used in more than 500 laboratories, which is a very impressive result, considering that the first versions appeared about 10 years ago. Of course, research on neurons can also be done using classical microscopes. However, it is much heavier and takes up more space.
With a small scale at their disposal, the research team can easily monitor the animals’ brain functions, social behavior, memory processes and other neurological functions. Peyman Golshani of the University of California, Los Angeles, stresses that these devices could be critical to any neurobiological research that requires looking at the activity of large groups of brain cells in free-behaved animals.
The two new binoculars are expected to produce images with a higher resolution than previous versions. Thanks to this, it will be possible to see the structure of communications in the brain, and not just the cells themselves. One device would be light enough for mice to put on. The second is for mice and will result in thousands of brain cells being imaged simultaneously.
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