A simple lick-o-meter and liquid reward delivery system

Some behavioral experiments reward correct performance. A typical response is a lick of a spout and the reward is a fixed volume of water. One simple way to achieve this is by using an Arduino board along with the capacitive sensing library.  The diagram below summarizes the parts used.  Just connect a 1 Mohm resistor between pins…

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Using the quadrature encoder to track locomotion

Scanbox allows you to acquire the position of a rotating platform at each frame of the microscope.  To do so, you need a quadrature encoder to be mounted on the axis of your platform.  We use the US Digital HS-360-IE-S, but any quadrature encoder will do as well. The encoder needs to be wired to an Arduino…

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Blanking the laser between trials

Sometimes, during long behavioral sessions, it is advantageous to turn off the laser between trials to minimize damage while keeping the microscope scanning.  To do this without introducing any additional noise that may influence the behavioral state we use the Pockels cell.  Scanbox now allows one to blank the laser by sending a command over…

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An active treadmill to control locomotion

As documented in several publications, active locomotion can strongly modulate cortical activity. I explained earlier how Scanbox uses a quadrature encoder to be able to control, in real time, an external stimulus that depends on the state of locomotion. In this way, we can design experiments in which stimuli are delivered during periods of locomotion or rest. However, if either locomotion…

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Scanbox closes the loop with a quadrature encoder

If you have downloaded the latest version of Scanbox you may have noticed there is a new “Quadrature Encoder” panel and wondered what is does. In addition to ball tracking, you now have the option of tracking the 1D movement of a circular platform. The position of the platform is monitored by an optical quadrature encoder…

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Eye Tracking

In addition to tracking the  movement of the ball one may want to track eye position along with pupil size. Once again, we use a Dalsa Genie GigE camera to image the eye. Conveniently, it turns out that if you are imaging near 920 nm, there is sufficient light that makes its way through the brain and out of the pupil.  Thus, the…

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Ball Tracking

One common way to track the movement of the ball is to use optical mice.  Some disadvantages of the method is that mice need to be positioned carefully near the ball surface in each experiment, that at least  least two of them are needed to recover all 3 rotation parameters, and that it is not trivial…

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