Calcium Transient Dynamics of Neural Ensembles in the Primary Motor Cortex of Naturally Behaving Monkeys

Takahiro Kondo, Risa Saito, Masaki Otaka, Kimika Yoshino-Saito, Akihiro Yamanaka, Tetsuo Yamamori, Akiya Watakabe, Hiroaki Mizukami, Mark J. Schnitzer, Kenji F. Tanaka, Junichi Ushiba, Hideyuki Okano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


To understand brain circuits of cognitive behaviors under natural conditions, we developed techniques for imaging neuronal activities from large neuronal populations in the deep layer cortex of the naturally behaving common marmoset. Animals retrieved food pellets or climbed ladders as a miniature fluorescence microscope monitored hundreds of calcium indicator-expressing cortical neurons in the right primary motor cortex. This technique, which can be adapted to other brain regions, can deepen our understanding of brain circuits by facilitating longitudinal population analyses of neuronal representation associated with cognitive naturalistic behaviors and their pathophysiological processes. Kondo et al. demonstrate calcium imaging from neuronal populations using a miniature fluorescence microscope in naturally behaving non-human primates (NHPs), common marmosets. This technique marks an advance beyond methods that use fixed head positioning, which limits the study of complex, self-determined behaviors such as social interactions or fear and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2191-2195.e4
JournalCell Reports
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 21


  • calcium imaging
  • common marmoset
  • miniaturized microscope
  • preferred direction
  • primary motor cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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