Neuroscience on a large scale: optical imaging at Baylor

December 12, 2012

I visited Baylor college of medicine in Houston last week. I heard about ongoing work in a number of labs, including Dora Angelaki and David Dickman. I also met with Andreas Tolias whose work aims to understand how responses in primary visual cortex lead to perception. We discussed his new optical imaging approach of steering the two-photon excitation using AODs (acousto optic deflectors). With AOD, he can rapidly image the responses of large numbers of cortical neurons. He and his students this method to examine population activity and correlations of neurons in primary visual cortex. Previous attempts to examine these issues relied on much smaller populations of neurons, so Andrea’s approach has the potential to shed new light on age old questions about population coding.

The picture below shows two of Andreas’s students, James Cotton (left) and George Denfield (right). 


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