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Slice Electrophysiology

Brain slice electrophysiology involves the ex vivo measurement of neuronal activity in acutely prepared brain slices using either extracellular or intracellular (patch-clamp) recordings. This technique enables scientists to perform pharmacological studies in defined brain regions by directly applying known concentrations of drugs, which can often be difficult or impossible in vivo. One key advantage of using brain slices for electrophysiological studies is that local circuits and the cyto-architecture of the tissue remain relatively intact. Moreover, direct visualization of the slice structure permits accurate placement of stimulation and recording electrodes in or near cells of interest, and the absence of the blood-brain barrier facilitates compound access. Overall, the brain slice preparation allows one to study a variety of neuronal properties (e.g. intrinsic excitability, synaptic function/plasticity), offering mechanistic insight into drug action.

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