Category Archives: Imaging

Heating up the objective for two-photon imaging

To image neurons in vivo with a large field of view, a large objective is necessary. This big piece of metal and glass is in indirect contact with the brain surface, with only water and maybe a cover slip in … Continue reading

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Interview with Bruno Pichler

Bruno Pichler studied medicine, obtained a PhD in neuroscience, worked in the labs of Arthur Konnerth, Tom Mrsic-Flogel and Troy Margrie, and was R&D manager at Scientifica, before founding his own company, INSS, “to provide the international neuroscience community with … Continue reading

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Discrepancies between calcium imaging and extracellular ephys recordings

To record the activity from a population of neurons, calcium imaging and extracellular recordings with small electrodes are the two most widely used methods that are still able to disentangle the contributions from single units. Here, I would like to … Continue reading

Posted in Calcium Imaging, Data analysis, electrophysiology, Imaging, Network analysis, Neuronal activity, Reviews | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Alignment tools

This blog posts covers some tools and techniques that I’m typically using to align two-photon microscopes. If you’re an expert, you will probably find nothing new, but if you haven’t been doing this for years, this might offer you some … Continue reading

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A practical guide for adaptive optics

There is no standard curriculum to learn practical procedures about microscopy: how to align a setup, how to identify misalignments, how to identify broken parts, where to buy components, how to check their performance, and much more. How to learn … Continue reading

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Review: An artificial ground truth for calcium imaging

Selected paper: Charles, Song, Tank et al., Neural Anatomy and Optical Microscopy Simulation (NAOMi) for evaluating calcium imaging methods, bioRxiv (2019). What is the paper about? Calcium imaging is a central method to observe neuronal activity in the brain of … Continue reading

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The cell-attached soundtrack of calcium imaging

Old-school electrophysiologists like to listen to the ephys signals during experiments. For example, this allows to precisely hear when the patch pipette approaches a target neuron. The technique is discussed in the Axon Guide: “Audio Monitor: Friend or Foe?”. The … Continue reading

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Photon yield and pulse dispersion

This case report describes how a two-photon microscope was found to come with a fluorescence yield that was lower than expected; how the underlying cause was found out in a systematic manner; and how the problem was solved. All approaches and solutions are specific for the microscope under question. However, I hope that this report (1) will inspire other people who are troubleshooting or optimizing their microscopes, (2) will help other people better understand two-photon microscopes and the relevance of technical details. Continue reading

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Whole-cell patch clamp, part 4: look and feel

In previous blog posts, I have been discussing some aspects of whole-cell patch clamp recordings ([1], [2], [3], [4]). Today, I will show some instructive videos that I recorded during experiments. I’m hoping that they will convey the look and feel … Continue reading

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Alvarez lenses and other strangely shaped optical elements

In typical microscopes, lenses or mirrors are moved forth and back to change the position of their focus. Tunable lenses like the electro-tunable lens or the TAG lens, on the other hand, are deformed by an external force and thereby … Continue reading

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