A Master's thesis.
Master (thesis) (master)
Neuronal responses in mouse barrel cortex:Comparison of two signal discriminators
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Number of pages
Barrels are discrete cytoarchitectonic neurons cluster located in the layer IV of the somatosensory¦cortex in mice brain. Each barrel is related to a specific whisker located on the mouse snout. The¦whisker-to-barrel pathway is a part of the somatosensory system that is intensively used to explore¦sensory activation induced plasticity in the cerebral cortex.¦Different recording methods exist to explore the cortical response induced by whisker deflection in¦the cortex of anesthetized mice. In this work, we used a method called the Single-Unit Analysis by¦which we recorded the extracellular electric signals of a single barrel neuron using a microelectrode.¦After recording the signal was processed by discriminators to isolate specific neuronal shape (action¦potentials).¦The objective of this thesis was to familiarize with the barrel cortex recording during whisker¦deflection and its theoretical background and to compare two different ways of discriminating and¦sorting cortical signal, the Waveform Window Discriminator (WWD) or the Spike Shape Discriminator (SSD).¦WWD is an electric module allowing the selection of specific electric signal shape. A trigger and a¦window potential level are set manually. During measurements, every time the electric signal passes¦through the two levels a dot is generated on time line. It was the method used in previous¦extracellular recording study in the Département de Biologie Cellulaire et de Morphologie (DBCM) in¦Lausanne.¦SSD is a function provided by the signal analysis software Spike2 (Cambridge Electronic Design). The¦neuronal signal is discriminated by a complex algorithm allowing the creation of specific templates.¦Each of these templates is supposed to correspond to a cell response profile. The templates are saved¦as a number of points (62 in this study) and are set for each new cortical location. During¦measurements, every time the cortical recorded signal corresponds to a defined number of templates¦points (60% in this study) a dot is generated on time line. The advantage of the SSD is that multiple¦templates can be used during a single stimulation, allowing a simultaneous recording of multiple¦signals.¦It exists different ways to represent data after discrimination and sorting. The most commonly used¦in the Single-Unit Analysis of the barrel cortex are the representation of the time between stimulation¦and the first cell response (the latency), the representation of the Response Magnitude (RM) after¦whisker deflection corrected for spontaneous activity and the representation of the time distribution¦of neuronal spikes on time axis after whisker stimulation (Peri-Stimulus Time Histogram, PSTH).¦The results show that the RMs and the latencies in layer IV were significantly different between the¦WWD and the SSD discriminated signal. The temporal distribution of the latencies shows that the¦different values were included between 6 and 60ms with no peak value for SSD while the WWD¦data were all gathered around a peak of 11ms (corresponding to previous studies). The scattered¦distribution of the latencies recorded with the SSD did not correspond to a cell response.¦The SSD appears to be a powerful tool for signal sorting but we do not succeed to use it for the¦Single-Unit Analysis extracellular recordings. Further recordings with different SSD templates settings¦and larger sample size may help to show the utility of this tool in Single-Unit Analysis studies.
Barrel, Cortex, Somatosensory, Electrophysiology, Sorting
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