Guide to Research Techniques in Neuroscience

Guide to Research Techniques in Neuroscience

2nd Edition - February 27, 2015

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  • Authors: Matt Carter, Jennifer Shieh
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128005972
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128005118

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Neuroscience is, by definition, a multidisciplinary field: some scientists study genes and proteins at the molecular level while others study neural circuitry using electrophysiology and high-resolution optics. A single topic can be studied using techniques from genetics, imaging, biochemistry, or electrophysiology. Therefore, it can be daunting for young scientists or anyone new to neuroscience to learn how to read the primary literature and develop their own experiments. This volume addresses that gap, gathering multidisciplinary knowledge and providing tools for understanding the neuroscience techniques that are essential to the field, and allowing the reader to design experiments in a variety of neuroscience disciplines.

Key Features

  • Written to provide a "hands-on" approach for graduate students, postdocs, or anyone new to the neurosciences
  • Techniques within one field are compared, allowing readers to select the best techniques for their own work
  • Includes key articles, books, and protocols for additional detailed study
  • Data analysis boxes in each chapter help with data interpretation and offer guidelines on how best to represent results
  • Walk-through boxes guide readers step-by-step through experiments


Neuroscience graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, experienced researchers new to neuroscience, and senior researchers who want technique updates.

Table of Contents

    • Foreword to the Second Edition
    • Foreword to the First Edition
    • Preface to the Second Edition
    • Preface to the First Edition
    • Introduction
    • Chapter 1. Whole-Brain Imaging
      • Structural Brain Imaging Techniques
      • Functional Brain Imaging Techniques
      • Functional Imaging Experimental Design and Analysis
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 2. Animal Behavior
      • Considerations for Choosing and Performing a Behavioral Assay
      • Rodent Behavioral Paradigms
      • Drosophila Behavioral Paradigms
      • Caenorhabditis elegans Behavioral Paradigms
      • Nonhuman Primate Behavioral Paradigms
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 3. Stereotaxic Surgeries and In Vivo Techniques
      • Stereotaxic Surgeries
      • Implants for Long-Term Access to the Brain
      • Manipulating Neural Activity In vivo
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 4. Electrophysiology
      • A Brief Review of the Electrical Properties of Neurons
      • The Electrophysiology Rig
      • Categories of Electrophysiology Recordings
      • Electrophysiology Tissue Preparations
      • Manipulating Neural Activity during Electrophysiology Experiments
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 5. Microscopy
      • Essential Principles of Microscopy
      • Light Microscopy
      • Fluorescence Microscopy
      • Electron Microscopy
      • Preparing and Interpreting Microscopy Data
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 6. Visualizing Neural Structure
      • Tissue Preparation
      • Visualizing Morphology
      • Visualizing Gene and Protein Expression
      • Visualizing Circuitry
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 7. Visualizing Neural Function
      • Static Markers of Activity
      • Visualizing Neural Activity
      • Visualizing Protein Function
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 8. Manipulating Neural Activity
      • Experimental Logic of Manipulating Neural Activity
      • Physical Manipulation
      • Electrical Manipulation
      • Pharmacological Manipulation
      • Genetic Manipulation
      • Pharmacogenetic Manipulation
      • Optogenetic Manipulation
      • Neuromodulation Techniques Used in Humans
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 9. Identifying Genes and Proteins of Interest
      • A Brief Review of Genes and Proteins
      • Genetic Screens
      • In silico Screens
      • Molecular Screens
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 10. Molecular Cloning and Recombinant DNA Technology
      • Isolating DNA Fragments
      • Cloning DNA
      • Identifying DNA
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 11. Gene Delivery Strategies
      • Physical Gene Delivery
      • Chemical Gene Delivery
      • Viral Gene Delivery
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 12. Making and Using Transgenic Organisms
      • Transgenes
      • The Transgenic Construct
      • Binary Transgenic Systems
      • Making Transgenic Organisms
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 13. Manipulating Endogenous Genes
      • Classical Gene Targeting Methods
      • Nuclease-Based Gene Targeting Methods
      • Disrupting Gene Products
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 14. Cell Culture Techniques
      • Cell Culture Equipment and Reagents
      • Immortalized Cell Lines
      • Primary Cell and Tissue Culture
      • Stem Cell Cultures
      • Manipulating Cells in Culture
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 15. Biochemical Assays and Intracellular Signaling
      • Introduction to Signal Transduction and Intracellular Signaling
      • Fundamental Tools Used to Study Proteins
      • Investigating Protein Expression
      • Investigating Protein–Protein Interactions
      • Investigating Posttranslational Modifications
      • Investigating Protein–DNA Interactions
      • Conclusion
    • Glossary
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 418
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2015
  • Published: February 27, 2015
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128005972
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128005118

About the Authors

Matt Carter

Matt Carter
Matt Carter is an Associate Professor of Biology at Williams College where he teaches courses in neuroscience and physiology. His research program focuses on how the brain regulates food intake and sleep and is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation. In addition to primary scientific publications, he is also the author of Designing Science Presentations (Academic Press). He is a recipient of the Walter Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching from Stanford University and the Nelson Bushnell Prize for Excellence in Teaching and Writing from Williams College.

Affiliations and Expertise

Assistant Professor of Biology, Williams College, Williamstown, MA, USA

Jennifer Shieh

Jennifer C. Shieh, PhD, is currently Program Director and SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Coordinator at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the NIH. She co-authored the first edition of this book (Elsevier, 2009), and was awarded the Hans-Lukas Teuber Award for Outstanding Research and Academics in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences Award for Outstanding Scholarship and BCS Contributions.

Affiliations and Expertise

AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, Washington, DC, USA

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