Neuronal Recording Workshop

Published June 1, 2013

Freiburg 1The Uniklinik Freiburg hosted a two-day neuronal recording workshop in May, and Senior Applications Engineer Andre Snellings was our man on the (German) ground.

The workshop was targeted at researchers taking their first steps into neuronal recording. Working with five different recording setups, researchers progressed beyond single electrode work to inserting and recording with multi-channel electrodes.

The workshop had two major components each day: a morning lecture where participants were taught about neural electrophysiology in presentations, and an experimental component that made up the remainder of the day. The 20 participants were broken into five groups of four students each, which would comprise their lab group for the duration of the workshop.Freiburg 2

The experimental portion of the workshop happened at five different work stations, spread over two rooms. Each work station was led by a representative from one of five data acquisition companies (Tucker Davis Technologies, Plexon Inc., Black Rock Microsystems, Alpha Omega, and Multichannel systems) as well as two research assistants. The research assistants at each station performed surgery on a rat model, inserting a multisite recording electrode into a unique spot in the brain. Once the probe was placed, the data acquisition rep used their recording system to identify potential neural signals. At the end of each two hour session, the rep and RAs would stay in place and the lab group would move to another station.

Freiburg 3The sensory area of the thalamus was a popular recording location, because putative cells from that area could fire in response to an experimenter touching the rat’s whiskers. In the picture on the left, the blue neuron identified on the monitor would fire faster in response to whisker palpation and slower else.



Freiburg 4One group recorded from the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a popular recording location in awake, behaving animals because it is a central location for learning and memory. However, in the workshop environment with anesthetized rats, the hippocampus doesn’t allow the same type of easy stimulation/response as shown with the whisker response above. Nevertheless, Victor from Tucker Davis and the two research assistants (all shown in the photo on the right) were able to identify a few neurons.


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