Prominent Neuroscience Lab Develops Activity-tracking System Using Optimice Cages

Thursday 07/12/18

Dr. Majid Mohajerani focuses on addressing the neural mechanisms underlying higher-order cognitive learned behaviors. Assessing the performed tasks of trained rodents is time consuming and labor intensive, so Dr. Mohajerani modified Optimice cage tops to do real-time monitoring. Click here to read his paper.

Dr. Mohajerani fitted the cage top with a camera and infrared LED lights. To see an animation of the tracking, click here. To view additional photos of the setup: Camera unmounted, camera mounted exterior.

From the University of Lethbridge:  Dr. Mohajerani’s primary aim of research is neural activity on the subcellular, cellular, and circuit level in cortex upon sensory stimulation (tactile, visual, or auditory) and during motor behaviour, to uncover the neural correlates of sensory perception, associative learning, and perceptual decisions. His laboratory is interested to study neuron’s responses to arbitrary, complex sensory stimuli. However, the activity in the sensory system depends not only on sensory stimuli, but also on what the rest of the brain is doing. His main effort focuses on examining how the sensory system integrates sensory inputs from peripheries and lateral inputs from the brain. His lab employs in vivo optical methods (such as two-photon microscopy, voltage sensitive dye imaging and optogenetic tools), in combination with electrophysiological recording to study neural activity at the subcellular, cellular, and circuit level in real-time. We also have interest in structure-function relationships in the brain. To this end, we are developing new mapping procedures using newly developed optogenetics techniques combined with structural and functional imaging.