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Title: On-line optical operant conditioning of cortical activity
Author: Kanemoto, Y.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 1707
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Animals can learn to modify their voluntary behavior to gain rewards in the positive reinforcement form of operant conditioning. It has been shown that animals can also learn to modify neuronal activity that is directly rewarded by using electrophysiological recordings. Electrophysiological approaches exhibit excellent temporal resolution, but do not permit recordings from the same identified neurons in dense local circuits over multiple days. Two-photon calcium imaging makes it possible to observe the activity of the same population of identified neurons in behaving animals over long time periods. Here we introduce a platform to analyze calcium imaging data on-line and feed this neuronal activity back to behaving animals. We have used this approach to investigate how animals modify population activity during operant conditioning. We transfected neurons with adenoassociated virus encoding for the genetically encoded calcium indicator GCaMP6s. While performing calcium imaging, spiking events in multiple neurons could be inferred. Rewards were given to animals in response to inferred events. We found that single neurons in layer 2/3 of motor cortex could be trained to increase activity in a specific manner, and that this increase primes operant conditioning of the same neurons over subsequent days. We also developed 3D two-photon calcium imaging setup to simultaneously record dendritic and somatic activity, with the aim of performing operant conditioning of local dendritic activity. By identifying the neurons that trigger operant conditioning, the approach we have introduced should be useful for localizing plastic changes and determining the parameters that lead to these plastic changes in the dynamics of neuronal populations during learning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available