Single-unit recordings in vivo are the unitary elements in the processing of the brain and as such essential in systems physiology to understand brain functioning. In the cerebellum, a structure with high levels of intrinsic activity, studying these elements in vivo in an awake animal is imperative to obtain information regarding the processing features of these units in action. In this chapter we address the rationale and the approach of recording electrophysiological activity in the cerebellum, particularly that of Purkinje cells, in vivo in the awake, active animal. In line with the developing appreciation for the diversity within populations of the cells of the same type, there is a growing interest in the differentiation within the population of Purkinje cells. Here we describe a successful approach to analyzing the activity of two populations of Purkinje cells, which differ in connectivity and the expression of several genes. By driving the expression of a fluorescent marker with the promotor of one of the differentiating genes, the presence of a fluorescence signal could be used to recognize and approach Purkinje cells, while the intensity of the signal can be used as a marker to identify the two subpopulations. Finally, the drawbacks and the advantages of this technique are discussed and placed into a future perspective.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wu, B., & Schonewille, M. (2018). Targeted electrophysiological recordings in vivo in the mouse cerebellum. In Neuromethods. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-7549-5_2