Reconstruction of firing rate changes across neuronal populations by temporally deconvolved Ca2+ imaging

Nat Methods. 2006 May;3(5):377-83. doi: 10.1038/nmeth874.


Methods to record action potential (AP) firing in many individual neurons are essential to unravel the function of complex neuronal circuits in the brain. A promising approach is bolus loading of Ca(2+) indicators combined with multiphoton microscopy. Currently, however, this technique lacks cell-type specificity, has low temporal resolution and cannot resolve complex temporal firing patterns. Here we present simple solutions to these problems. We identified neuron types by colocalizing Ca(2+) signals of a red-fluorescing indicator with genetically encoded markers. We reconstructed firing rate changes from Ca(2+) signals by temporal deconvolution. This technique is efficient, dramatically enhances temporal resolution, facilitates data interpretation and permits analysis of odor-response patterns across thousands of neurons in the zebrafish olfactory bulb. Hence, temporally deconvolved Ca(2+) imaging (TDCa imaging) resolves limitations of current optical recording techniques and is likely to be widely applicable because of its simplicity, robustness and generic principle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Calcium / analysis
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Cations, Divalent
  • Electrophysiology / methods*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / analysis
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Odorants
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Time Factors
  • Zebrafish


  • Biomarkers
  • Cations, Divalent
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Calcium