Scientists present methodology and research findings from neurophysiological studies in head-fixed, behaving mice.

euroscience research in freely behaving animals is inherently challenging for techniques that require a high degree of precision, such as 2-photon imaging, single-cell optogenetics and patch clamp recording. Scientists are forced to use general anesthesia to immobilize animals for single-cell recording and microscopy. Unfortunately, anesthetics have a profound physiological impact that compromises data quality and translational relevance.

In this webinar sponsored by Neurotar, experts present their research utilizing the Mobile HomeCage®, an experimental tool which ensures the stability required for high-precision neurophysiological techniques while allowing mice to navigate and explore their environment.

Case Study #1:
Dr. Sarah Stuart and Dr. Jon Palacios-Filardo of the University of Bristol present their studies combining analysis of goal-directed behavior with whole-cell recordings from the hippocampus of awake mice. The researchers share useful tips for the surgery protocol and for adjusting the head fixation angle in order to facilitate mouse motility and exploratory behavior.

Case Study #2:
Dr. Alexander Dityatev and Weilun Sun from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) discuss 2-photon imaging of fluorescently labeled microglia in vivo in the context of neurodegenerative disease. They also present their recent data on the effects of different anesthetics on the microglial response to localized laser injury.

Case Study #3:
Dr. Norbert Hájos from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences presents his lab’s research into the amygdala’s role in reward-driven behavior. He shares the challenges of making single-unit recordings using silicon probes during mouse locomotion and subsequent morphological identification of active neurons in the amygdala.

Key Topics Include:

  • Requirements for stable single-cell recordings and 2-photon imaging in behaving mice
  • Challenges of combining high-precision techniques with behavioral research
  • Methodological considerations for improving exploratory behavior in head-fixed mice
  • Quantitative analysis of microglial function using 2-photon microscopy in awake mice
  • Recording neuronal activity in the amygdala of awake mice followed by morphological identification of recorded neurons


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Molecular Neuroplasticity
DZNE – German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Since 2012 Alexander Dityatev is the head of the Molecular Neuroplasticity research group at DZNE and a full professor at the University of Magdeburg. His group is studying the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules in major brain diseases and develops new strategies to image and target the ECM. The group combines expertise in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, in vivo two-photon imaging and molecular biology.

Production Partner


Neurotar is a biotechnology company that leverages an in vivo two-photon microscopic imaging platform to develop IP assets in the areas of CNS drug development, awake animal imaging, imaging of deep brain regions (in animals) and human brain imaging. Our "Mobile Home Cage" enables microscopic imaging and single-cell electrophysiological tests in awake and behaving mice.

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