Electrophysiological Techniques

Through use of a broad range of electrophysiological techniques to assess information about a neuron, such as those described earlier in this chapter, experiments can be designed to investigate differences in the physiological properties of neurons of interest, the interaction between neurotransmitter systems involved in behavioral or pathological conditions, and the mode of action of pathomimetic or psychotherapeutic agents. In attempting to gain such information, it is important to note that there is no "best" technique. Each approach has its relative strengths and weaknesses, and only through integrating information gained at these various levels will a more complete comprehension of neuronal function be achieved.

Numerous parameters of neuronal activity can be assessed electrophysiological^. These parameters can be selectively assessed depending on the method of recording used. Six recording methods are reviewed here:

electroencephalographs (EEG) recordings, field potential recordings, single-unit extracellular recordings, intracellular recordings, patch clamp recordings, and whole-cell recordings. Which parameter is measured is essentially a function of the type of electrode used.

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