AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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3D Footage Links Neurons with Motion and Behavior

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Researchers from Princeton University reported a technique in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that allowed them to record 3D footage of neural activity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a worm species that is one-millimeter long, with a nervous system containing only 302 neurons. The researchers correlated the activity of 77 neurons from the animal’s nervous system with specific behaviors, such as backward or forward motion and turning. “This system is exciting because it provides the most detailed picture yet of brain-wide neural activity with single-neuron resolution in the brain of an animal that is free to move around,” said the study’s lead researcher. “One reason we were successful was that we chose to work with a very simple organism, it would be immensely more difficult to perform whole-brain recordings in humans. The technology needed to perform similar recordings in humans is many years away.” The research team is currently working to expand on the correlations between neural activity and behavior in general. To read more about this study, click here.

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