Head-mounted microendoscopic calcium imaging in dorsal premotor cortex of behaving rhesus macaque

Cell Rep. 2021 Jun 15;35(11):109239. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109239.


Microendoscopic calcium imaging with one-photon miniature microscopes enables unprecedented readout of neural circuit dynamics during active behavior in rodents. In this study, we describe successful application of this technology in the rhesus macaque, demonstrating plug-and-play, head-mounted recordings of cellular-resolution calcium dynamics from large populations of neurons simultaneously in bilateral dorsal premotor cortices during performance of a naturalistic motor reach task. Imaging is stable over several months, allowing us to longitudinally track individual neurons and monitor their relationship to motor behavior over time. We observe neuronal calcium dynamics selective for reach direction, which we could use to decode the animal's trial-by-trial motor behavior. This work establishes head-mounted microendoscopic calcium imaging in macaques as a powerful approach for studying the neural circuit mechanisms underlying complex and clinically relevant behaviors, and it promises to greatly advance our understanding of human brain function, as well as its dysfunction in neurological disease.

Keywords: GCaMP; GRIN lens; arm reach; calcium imaging; decoding behavior; longitudinal tracking; macaque; microendoscopy; miniscope; premotor cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Endoscopy*
  • Head
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex / diagnostic imaging*
  • Motor Cortex / surgery
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Time Factors


  • Calcium