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Single-cell recording

  Single-Cell Recording is a technique used in research to observe changes in voltage or current in a neuron.

In this technique an animal, usually anesthetized, has a microelectrode inserted into its skull and into a neuron in the area of the brain that is of interest. The electrode measures the changes in charge as the neuron reaches its action potential.

This process is usually concurrent with some sort of stimuli. For example, a probe could be put into a single neuron in a specific area of the visual cortex of an animal. The animal is then shown a series of lights in different orientations on a dark screen. Whatever orientation of light is being shown at the time the electrode reads a change in voltage is what orientation corresponds to that area of the visual cortex.[1]

Single cell recording has the highest resolution of all brain imaging techniques. It provides much information about the activities of a few neurons, but it has a low generalizability. Up to fifty cells can be recorded at once, and with this technique it is also possible to follow the activity of a neuron over time.

An example of knowledge gained by single-cell recording are the very specific characteristics of visual cues that make the neurons in the visual cortex fire.[2]


  1. ^ Kremers, J. (5/6/2003). Division of Experimental Ophthalmology: Electrophysiological Laboratory. Retrieved December 5, 2006, from
  2. ^ Kolb & Whishaw: Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology (2003), pages 146-149
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Single-cell_recording". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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