Must read neural circuit papers in April 2017

By Jami Milton, PhD | May 4, 2017 5:01:00 AM

I first began studying neural circuits in Ed Callaway’s lab at the Salk Institute, even before his group was doing viral tracing studies. To map functional circuits, we used electrophysiology of 1-2 neurons and glutamate uncaging with UV light, or photostimulation. Now photostimulation has transformed into optogenetics and neuroscientists have the ability to record from up to 1,000 neurons while animals freely behave, providing unprecedented insight into the neural circuits mediating complex behaviors and cognition.

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Neuromodulation and challenges facing translational neuroscience

By Jami Milton, PhD | Apr 26, 2017 2:34:44 PM


In the next video of our Neurovox series, we feature Kip Ludwig, PhD, Associate Director, Mayo Neural Engineering Laboratories. Kip runs a research lab in bioelectronic medicines which are small, wireless implantable devices to interface with the nervous system to manipulate organ function. These devices have proved instrumental in improving conditions such as Parkinson's Disease.

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Inscopix in the news! Check out our miniature microscope technology feature

By Inscopix | Apr 19, 2017 3:08:15 PM


Bloomberg visited Inscopix laboratories and made this fantastic video of our miniature microscope technology. Check out how our technology reads brain activity in real time at single-cell resolution for a thousand neurons at a time in mice!


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Seven neuroscience experts give career advice

By Jami Milton, PhD | Apr 18, 2017 9:49:41 AM

We asked seven neuroscience experts for their advice to anyone desiring to make their mark, either at the research bench or outside of academia. Much of what they said applies to any professional endeavor. Below we included the direct quotes from our interviews.

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Neuroscientists identify brain circuit necessary for memory formation

By Anne Trafton | Apr 10, 2017 10:06:02 AM

When we visit a friend or go to the beach, our brain stores a short-term memory of the experience in a part of the brain called the hippocampus. Those memories are later "consolidated"—that is, transferred to another part of the brain for longer-term storage.

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The importance of studying neural circuits for understanding psychiatric disorders

By Jami Milton, PhD | Apr 4, 2017 8:00:00 AM

In another segment of our Neurovox series, Vania Cao, PhD, interviews Amar Sahay, PhD, an Assistant Professor at Massachusetts General Hospital, Center of Regenerative Medicine, Harvard Medical School. He is also a Principal Faculty at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and an Associate member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. He tells us about his research into the neural circuits underlying fear responses, why it’s important to study neural circuits, some of the challenges neuroscience faces, and what excites him about working in neuroscience today.

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Grant submissions, research, publications...we can help.

By Jacqueline DeRose, PhD | Mar 29, 2017 6:00:00 AM


After more than 15 years in academia, I recently crossed over to industry and joined Inscopix. Our company has the singular vision to accelerate fundamental discoveries in brain function with the hope that one day, our neuroscience community will find cures to some of the most devastating brain diseases. We don’t make drugs. We make a tiny microscope that allows scientists to watch and record hundreds of brain cells firing in response to a rodent’s behavior or actions in real time. How cool is that?! The old adage that “seeing is believing” has never been more true. When I first joined the company, I was so impressed with the level of expert scientific support the Inscopix team put forth in training and educating academics like me. I watched the system in action and then put it to use with my own hands. I was sold. I was excited to hear my neuroscience colleagues discuss how our platform was going to transform their research and provide them with new insights into the neural mechanisms underlying eating disorders, anxiety, addiction, and sleep and circadian dysfunction. I was also reminded of just how hard it is to burn that candle at both ends - constantly writing for grant funding to do the research that you’re really passionate about, as well as finding the time to do the lab work, analyze the data and publish the results to be competitive at the next NIH review study section. The never-ending hamster wheel, once you’re’ve got to keep running to survive in academia.

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Stanford scientists use calcium imaging to study Pavlovian conditioning in neural networks

By Taylor Kubota | Mar 27, 2017 10:22:02 AM

In the decades following the work by physiologist Ivan Pavlov and his famous salivating dogs, scientists have discovered how molecules and cells in the brain learn to associate two stimuli, like Pavlov's bell and the resulting food. What they haven't been able to study is how whole groups of neurons work together to form that association. Now, Stanford University researchers have observed how large groups of neurons in the brain both learn and unlearn a new association.

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Birdsong, calcium imaging, and progress in neuroscience

By Jami Milton, PhD | Mar 21, 2017 9:33:47 AM


Richard Mooney, the George Barth Geller Professor of Neurobiology at Duke University, and a leader in birdsong neuroscience sat down recently with our very own Vania Cao for an interview while he was attending our DECODE Summit as a DECODE awardee. You can read the full interview below, or watch a video snippet.

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Parallel neural circuits mediate distinct aspects of fear memory

By Alice Stamatakis, PhD | Mar 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Fundamental aspects of learning and memory are well conserved among species and are necessary for survival.  The hippocampus and amygdala are key regions of the brain underlying learning and memory processes.  While the hippocampus is crucial for memory formation, the amygdala is involved in emotional processing and assigns valence to salient stimuli.  Importantly, these two brain structures interact with each other to assign memories to emotionally salient stimuli. While it is known that these two brain regions are important for learning and memory, how subcircuits within these two brain regions regulate distinct aspects of learning and memory remains unclear.

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