Brain Slice Electrophysiology

Electrophysiological recordings from brain slices are a direct way to probe neural function, detect pathological functional abnormalities and explore sensitivity of spontaneous and evoked electrical signal transmissions to drugs. The recordings are a valuable tool in the study of synaptic plasticity, which is thought to underlie learning, memory and some brain pathologies. Up- or down-regulation of synaptic transmission can shed light on cellular and network mechanisms of numerous CNS diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, autism and ataxia.



This video on brain slice electrohphysiology using multi-electrode array biochips shows the sample preparation and analysis as well as data capture.

Multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) are ideal for neural studies, as they are easily multiplexed, allowing for multiple, concurrent experiments. The variety of MEA biochips allows you to customize your electrophysiological recordings and gather data from single neurons to large groups of cells.

Recordings of Evoked Field Potentials in Different Sections of the Brains via MEAs

Basal Synaptic Transmission

Basal synaptic transmission in hippocampal slices. The amplitude of the fEPSP shows information transfer across the synapse in response to a single stimulus.


Short-term plasticity

Short-term plasticity where a pair of identical stimuli result in increased amplitude in the second output compared to the first output.


 Long-term plasticity

Long-term plasticity reflects changes in information processing over extended time periods (minutes).

Types of readouts from MEA-based electrophysiology

Basal synaptic transmission

  • Ortho- and antidromically evoked field potentials
  • Input-output relationships

Short-term plasticity

  • Paired-pulse facilitation
  • Paired-pulse depression
  • Post-tetanic potentiation

Long-term plasticity

  • High-frequency long-term potentiation
  • Theta-burst long-term potentiation
  • EPSP-spike (E-S) potentiation
  • Chemical long-term potentiation
  • Low-frequency long-term depression
  • Chemical long-term depression

Spontaneous activity

  • Action potential discharges by single neurons in slices (e.g., Purkinje cells, neocortical neurons, dorsal raphe neurons, etc.)
  • Network oscillations (hippocampal CA3 area, medial prefrontal cortex, etc.)

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