Population imaging of ongoing neuronal activity in the visual cortex of awake rats

Nat Neurosci. 2008 Jul;11(7):749-51. doi: 10.1038/nn.2140. Epub 2008 Jun 15.


It is unclear how the complex spatiotemporal organization of ongoing cortical neuronal activity recorded in anesthetized animals relates to the awake animal. We therefore used two-photon population calcium imaging in awake and subsequently anesthetized rats to follow action potential firing in populations of neurons across brain states, and examined how single neurons contributed to population activity. Firing rates and spike bursting in awake rats were higher, and pair-wise correlations were lower, compared with anesthetized rats. Anesthesia modulated population-wide synchronization and the relationship between firing rate and correlation. Overall, brain activity during wakefulness cannot be inferred using anesthesia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Algorithms
  • Anesthesia
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Egtazic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Photons
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rhodamines
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Visual Cortex / cytology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*


  • Rhodamines
  • 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid acetoxymethyl ester
  • Egtazic Acid
  • sulforhodamine 101
  • Calcium