<figcaption> Credit: © 2006 ELSEVIER INC.</figcaption>
Credit: © 2006 ELSEVIER INC.

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.1 "The potential of this is huge," says Faculty of 1000 member Gerald Zamponi, of the department of physiology and biophysics at the University of Calgary.

"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?...


1. A.K. Lee et al., "Whole-cell recordings in freely moving rats," Neuron, 51:399-407, Aug. 17, 2006.

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