Imaging neural activity in the primary somatosensory cortex using Thy1-GCaMP6s transgenic mice

Xiaojing Lin, Tingbao Zhao, Wenhui Xiong, Shaonan Wen, Xiaoming Jin, Xiao Ming Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The mammalian brain exhibits marked symmetry across the sagittal plane. However, detailed description of neural dynamics in symmetric brain regions in adult mammalian animals remains elusive. In this study, we describe an experimental procedure for measuring calcium dynamics through dual optical windows above bilateral primary somatosensory corticies (S1) in Thy1-GCaMP6s transgenic mice using 2-photon (2P) microscopy. This method enables recordings and quantifications of neural activity in bilateral mouse brain regions one at a time in the same experiment for a prolonged period in vivo. Key aspects of this method, which can be completed within an hour, include minimally invasive surgery procedures for creating dual optical windows, and the use of 2P imaging. Although we only demonstrate the technique in the S1 area, the method can be applied to other regions of the living brain facilitating the elucidation of structural and functional complexities of brain neural networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere56297
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number143
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • 2-photon imaging
  • Calcium dynamics
  • Cranial window
  • GCaMP6s transgenic mice
  • In vivo imaging
  • Issue 143
  • Somatosensory cortex
  • This month in JoVE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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