Direct electrophysiological measurement of neuronal activity in living, breathing animals is challenging. Making such measurements on freely moving, behaving animals has been next to impossible. But recently a research group in The Netherlands and Germany that includes patch-clamp pioneer Bert Sakmann devised a contraption that can take whole-cell recordings from freely moving rats.
"If you want to know how a neuron does its job under real conditions, having a brain slice is a great thing, but you can't do behavior on a brain slice?...
References1. A.K. Lee et al., "Whole-cell recordings in freely moving rats," Neuron, 51:399-407, Aug. 17, 2006.
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