High precision and fast functional mapping of cortical circuitry through a novel combination of voltage sensitive dye imaging and laser scanning photostimulation

J Neurophysiol. 2010 Apr;103(4):2301-12. doi: 10.1152/jn.00992.2009. Epub 2010 Feb 3.


The development of modern neuroscience tools is critical for deciphering brain circuit organization and function. An important aspect for technical development is to enhance each technique's advantages and compensate for limitations. We developed a high-precision and fast functional mapping technique in brain slices that incorporates the spatial precision of activation that can be achieved by laser-scanning photostimulation with rapid and high-temporal resolution assessment of evoked network activity that can be achieved by voltage-sensitive dye imaging. Unlike combination of whole cell recordings with photostimulation for mapping local circuit inputs to individually recorded neurons, this innovation is a new photostimulation-based technique to map cortical circuit output and functional connections at the level of neuronal populations. Here we report on this novel technique in detail and show its effective applications in mapping functional connections and circuit dynamics in mouse primary visual cortex and hippocampus. Given that this innovation enables rapid mapping and precise evaluation of cortical organization and function, it can have broad impacts in the field of cortical circuitry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena / physiology
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Lasers*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Models, Animal
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging / methods*