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Genetically Modified Mouse’s Brain Lights Up As It Thinks

New mouse will allow scientists to see how the brain processes information

Bethesda, Md. (April 1, 2016)—Scientists have developed a genetically modified mouse with brain cells that light up when active. Using microscopes, the researchers could see regions on the outer layer of the brain used for different tasks and track brain activity as the mice processed and reacted to a stimulus. The technique allows researchers to map activity across the outer layer of the brain or zoom in on one region and study the activity of the brain cells there. “Techniques such as this may enable linking features of brain-wide networks to those of cellular ensembles, which will likely be essential to understand the neural basis of perception and action,” the researchers wrote.

The article “Large-scale imaging of cortical dynamics during sensory perception and behavior” is published in the Journal of Neurophysiology. It is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program. Read all of this month’s selected research articles on the APSselect website.

For more details on the study, view the full release from the University of Oregon.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To schedule an interview with a member of the research team, please contact the APS Communications Office or 301-634-7209. Find more research highlights in the APS Press Room.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.