Time-lapse electrical recordings of single neurons from the mouse neocortex

Lior Cohen, Noa Koffman, Hanoch Meiri, Yosef Yarom, Ilan Lampl, Adi Mizrahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability of the brain to adapt to environmental demands implies that neurons can change throughout life. The extent to which single neurons actually change remains largely unstudied, however. To evaluate how functional properties of single neurons change over time, we devised a way to perform in vivo time-lapse electrophysiological recordings from the exact same neuron. We monitored the contralateral and ipsilateral sensory-evoked spiking activity of individual L2/3 neurons from the somatosensory cortex of mice. At the end of the first recording session, we electroporated the neuron with a DNA plasmid to drive GFP expression. Then, 2 wk later, we visually guided a recording electrode in vivo to the GFP-expressing neuron for the second time. We found that contralateral and ipsilateral evoked responses (i.e., probability to respond, latency, and preference), and spontaneous activity of individual L2/3 pyramidal neurons are stable under control conditions, but that this stability could be rapidly disrupted. Contralateral whisker deprivation induced robust changes in sensoryevoked response profiles of single neurons. Our experiments provide a framework for studying the stability and plasticity of single neurons over long time scales using electrophysiology.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5665-5670
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2013


  • Electroporation
  • Two-photon imaging

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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