Guide to Research Techniques in Neuroscience

Guide to Research Techniques in Neuroscience

3rd Edition - March 26, 2022

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  • Authors: Matt Carter, Rachel Essner, Nitsan Goldstein, Manasi Iyer
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128186466
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323915618

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Modern neuroscience research is inherently multidisciplinary, with a wide variety of cutting edge new techniques to explore multiple levels of investigation. This Third Edition of Guide to Research Techniques in Neuroscience provides a comprehensive overview of classical and cutting edge methods including their utility, limitations, and how data are presented in the literature. This book can be used as an introduction to neuroscience techniques for anyone new to the field or as a reference for any neuroscientist while reading papers or attending talks.

Key Features

  • Nearly 200 updated full-color illustrations to clearly convey the theory and practice of neuroscience methods
  • Expands on techniques from previous editions and covers many new techniques including in vivo calcium imaging, fiber photometry, RNA-Seq, brain spheroids, CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, and more
  • Clear, straightforward explanations of each technique for anyone new to the field
  • A broad scope of methods, from noninvasive brain imaging in human subjects, to electrophysiology in animal models, to recombinant DNA technology in test tubes, to transfection of neurons in cell culture
  • Detailed recommendations on where to find protocols and other resources for specific techniques
  • "Walk-through" boxes that guide readers through experiments step-by-step


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

Table of Contents

  • Cover image
  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Copyright
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Levels of Investigation
  • Approaches to Studying the Nervous System
  • Understanding Techniques in Neuroscience
  • Chapter 1. Noninvasive 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
  • C. elegans Behavioral Paradigms
  • Nonhuman Primate Behavioral Paradigms
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 3. Stereotaxic Surgeries
  • Determining Coordinates of Brain Regions
  • Stereotaxic Surgeries in Rodents
  • Stereotaxic Surgeries in Nonhuman Primates
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 4. Electrophysiology
  • A Brief Review of the Electrical Properties of Neurons
  • The Electrophysiology Rig
  • Categories of Electrophysiology Recordings
  • Electrophysiology Tissue Preparations
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5. Microscopy
  • Essential Principles of Microscopy
  • Light Microscopy
  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Electron Microscopy
  • Preparing and Interpreting Microscopy Data
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 6. Visualizing Nervous System Structure
  • Tissue Preparation
  • Visualizing Morphology
  • Visualizing Gene and Protein Expression
  • Visualizing Circuitry
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 7. Visualizing and Measuring Neural Dynamics
  • Static Markers of Activity
  • Classical Methods of Measuring Extracellular Neurochemistry In Vivo
  • Biosensors for Visualizing Neural Activity
  • Biosensors for Visualizing Neurotransmission
  • Strategies for Visualizing and Measuring Activity from Fluorescent Biosensors
  • Image Processing in Visualization Experiments
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 8. Manipulating Neural Activity
  • Experimental Logic of Manipulating Neural Activity
  • Physical Manipulation
  • Electrical Manipulation
  • Pharmacological Manipulation
  • Genetic Manipulation
  • Chemogenetic Manipulation
  • Optogenetic Manipulation
  • Neuromodulation Techniques Used in Humans
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 9. Identifying Genes and Proteins of Interest
  • How Genes Encode for Proteins
  • Genetic Screens
  • In Silico Screens
  • Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST)
  • 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 Genetically Modified Organisms
  • Reasons for Engineering a Genetically Modified Organism
  • Commonly Used Transgenes
  • Using Promoters to Regulate Gene Expression
  • General Strategies for Genome Modification
  • Engineering Genetically Modified Organisms
  • Binary Expression Systems
  • Disrupting Gene Products
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 13. 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 14. Intracellular Signaling and Biochemical Assays
  • 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: 414
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2022
  • Published: March 26, 2022
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128186466
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323915618

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

Rachel Essner

Rachel Essner is a Neuroscience PhD candidate at Harvard University and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. She received a BA in Biology from Williams College in 2016, where she was awarded the Erastus C. Benedict prize in Biology. Her current research focuses on how the brain processes and regulates sensory signals from within the body.

Affiliations and Expertise

Harvard University, USA

Nitsan Goldstein

Nitsan Goldstein is a Neuroscience PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on gut–brain communication and how the brain regulates innate behaviors. Nitsan received her BA in Biology and Psychology from Williams College in 2015. She is the winner of the 2021 Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation and is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Pennsylvania, USA

Manasi Iyer

Manasi Iyer is a Neurosciences PhD candidate and a Graduate Fellow in Science and Engineering at Stanford University, where she is studying the cellular mechanisms that underlie developmental myelin formation in the central nervous system. She received her BA in Biology from Williams College in 2014, where she was awarded the Erastus C. Benedict Prize in Biology. When she is not in lab, Manasi spends her time teaching undergraduate courses such as Foundational Topics in Neuroscience and working with NeuWrite West as an editor and blog manager. She is also passionate about early child education.

Affiliations and Expertise

Stanford University, Standford, California, USA

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