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NeuroPhysics Team

Neuronal mechanisms of a complex behavior in Aplysia


The overall aim of this project is at the forefront of changing the focus of MR microscopy from static, structural imaging to dynamic investigations of ongoing cellular physiological processes.

Published on 28 November 2017

The overall aim of this project is at the forefront of changing the focus of MR microscopy from static, structural imaging to dynamic investigations of ongoing cellular physiological processes. Our goal is not only to obtain ultra-high spatial resolution MR images but also to extract physiological information at the cellular and subcellular levels. In order to accomplish this goal we combine foremost advances in MRM with a well-chosen biological system, Aplysia californica. Aplysia offers several unique advantages which make it suitable for studies at the cellular level: a relatively small number (20 000) of large (many between 100 – 1000 mm in diameter) nerve cells among which many have been uniquely identified by electrophysiological methods and have been reliably linked to the animal’s behavior.

 
Aplysia californica
© UNIRS CEA NeuroSpin
 

We have reported functional MRI studies with single neuron resolution using manganese enhanced MRI (MEMRI) (link):

 

 
Manganese enhanced magnetic resonance images of neuron B3 from the buccal ganglia of Aplysia californica. Higher signal intensity indicates higher manganese concentration corresponding to increased neuronal activity.