M. Lauterbach | Molekulare Bildgebung

 

Turtles

The evolutionary position of reptiles relative to mammals makes the reptile brain an interesting model system to study the structural and functional evolution of neuronal circuits of vertebrates. Turtles have an unfolded dorsal cortex that is divided into only three cell layers – in contrast to the mammalian cortex that has six layers. Thus, the turtle cortex is similar to the parts of the mammalian brain (hippocampus, olfactory bulb) that are considered to be evolutionarily old. Here, general – evolutionary old – principles of neuronal signal processing can probably be discovered and understood.

 

STED microscopy

STED microscopy is an optical so-called „superresolution“ microscopy technique that gives a higher resolution than conventional optical microscopes. This higher resolution translates into a higher useful magnification. Its invention was recognized by the Nobel Price for Chemistry in 2014.

 

Calcium Imaging

Calcium is an important signaling molecule in neurons and glia. The activity of the cells is correlated with changes in intracellular calcium concentration. Indicator dyes allow converting these calcium-concentration changes into changes of fluorescence. The acitvity of the cells can thus be monitored by imaging fluorescence intensity. In this way many cells in the network can be monitored simultaneously.

 

Electrophysiology

Microelectrodes allow recording the membrane potential of cells. Their activity and generation of action potentials can thus be monitored with high temproral resolution.

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