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Lecture 7 Electrophysiological techniques

Assignment:
Read text: pp. 586-589 (EEG major concepts)
Box 7.3 on pp. 178-179 (PET scans, fMRI)
Remember: Essay 1 due on Wed, Sept. 9
Exam 1 on Wednesday, Sept. 16

Recommend: Review lecture notes

Two strategies for increasing the speed of action potential


propagation have evolved:
1.) giant axons (invertebrate strategy)
- axons with large diameter have less electrical resistance
- present in squid, crayfish, and other invertebrates
- continuous (steady) movement of AP, but faster
2.) myelination and saltatory conduction (vertebrate strategy)
- series of discontinuous APs; one at each node of Ranvier
- AP skips down the axon

Myelin sheaths are produced by glial cells


(many types exist)
Schwann cells in peripheral nerves
Oligodendrocytes in the CNS

Continuous conduction
(typical of invertebrates)

Saltatory conduction
(typical of vertebrates)

Five methods of electrophysiology for monitoring neuronal activity:


NOTE: This is not a complete list; there are others!

1.) intracellular recording


2.) extracellular recording with hook electrodes
3.) extracellular recording with microelectrodes
4.) electroencephalography (EEG)
5.) magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Two methods of monitoring brain activity indirectly (by blood flow)


See text box 7.3 on pp. 178-179 for details.
1. Positron emission tomography (PET)
2.) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

A textbook action potential monitored with


intracellular recording

Five methods of electrophysiology for monitoring


neuronal activity
1.) intracellular recording

2.) extracellular recording with hook electrodes


3.) extracellular recording with microelectrodes
4.) electroencephalography (EEG)
5.) magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Extracellular recording with hook electrodes

Many axons are contained within a single nerve.

In this image from the Brainbow project, different axons


within a nerve are different colors.

Extracellular recordings from nerves in the stomatogastric ganglion of crabs

Five methods of electrophysiology for monitoring


neuronal activity
1.) intracellular recording
2.) extracellular recording with hook electrodes

3.) extracellular recording with microelectrodes


4.) electroencephalography (EEG)
5.) magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Extracellular recording
with a microelectrode

Comparison of intracellular and extracellular recordings


Intracellular

Extracellular

-one cell only

-one cell to many (axons)

-must be able to impale cell

-impalement is unnecessary
(advantageous for small cells/axons)

-can detect subtle changes in


membrane voltage (e.g., PSPs)

-usually can only detect action


potentials

-identity of signal source (cell) is


known

-signal source often hard to


identify

-signal is large (action potentials


often about 80 mV)

-signal is small (action potentials


often about 1 mV)

-movements (of animal) often


dislodge electrodes

-some extracellular electrodes


(e.g., cuff electrodes) can stay
on the nerve of a moving
animal

Five methods of electrophysiology for monitoring


neuronal activity
1.) intracellular recording
2.) extracellular recording with hook electrodes
3.) extracellular recording with microelectrodes

4.) electroencephalography (EEG)


5.) magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Electroencephalography
-electrodes on scalp
-monitors sum electrical activity of
millions of neurons

Five methods of electrophysiology for monitoring


neuronal activity
1.) intracellular recording
2.) extracellular recording with hook electrodes
3.) extracellular recording with microelectrodes
4.) electroencephalography (EEG)

5.) magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Movement of electrical current through


neurons generates weak magnetic fields.
The magnetic fields are detected by
highly sensitive SQUIDs
(superconducting quantum
interference device sensors)
The fields are analyzed to
determine patterns of electrical activity
within the brain.

Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
(monitoring brain activity by monitoring weak magnetic fields produced by brain)

Information from MEG includes what brain areas are active and when.
Also: better than EEG at localizing sources of neural activity deep within the brain.