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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Analysis of fluorescent calcium signals in the detection of neural circuitry abnormalities in a mouse model of autism

  • Author(s): Cantu, Daniel Alejandro
  • Advisor(s): Portera-Cailliau, Carlos
  • et al.

The formation, refinement and plasticity of circuits are defining features of the central nervous system, giving rise to many of the unique and complex functionalities of the brain. Advances in dynamic fluorescence imaging technology are allowing an increasing number of researchers to investigate the activity of neural circuits in vivo in animal models. Unfortunately, deciphering the data obtained through these methods is time consuming and has largely been delegated to a few investigators who have the expertise to do so. We present an open-source, modular, and adaptable software suite designed for motion correction, segmentation, signal extraction, and deconvolution of fluorescent calcium imaging data. We apply this EZcalcium toolbox to the analysis of calcium imaging data in a mouse model of autism in order to investigate the underlying neural circuit abnormalities in the primary somatosensory and visual cortices. These contributions to the field of autism research demonstrate the utility of investigating neural circuits through optical methods.

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