Tangential high-density electrode insertions allow to simultaneously measure neuronal activity across an extended region of the visual field in mouse superior colliculus

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The superior colliculus (SC) is a midbrain structure that plays a central role in visual processing. Although we have learned a considerable amount about the function of single SC neurons, the way in which sensory information is represented and processed on the population level in awake behaving animals and across a large region of the retinotopic map is still largely unknown. Partially because the SC is anatomically located below the cortical sheet and the transverse sinus, it is technically difficult to measure neuronal activity from a large population of neurons in SC. To address this, we propose a tangential recording configuration using high-density electrode probes (Neuropixels) in mouse SC in vivo that permits a large number of recording sites (~200) accessibility inside the SC circuitry. This approach thereby provides a unique opportunity to measure the activity of SC neuronal populations composing up to ~2 mm of SC tissue and characterized by receptive fields covering an extended region in the visual field. Here we describe how to perform tangential recordings along the anterior-posterior and the medio-lateral axis of the mouse SC in vivo and how to combine this approach with optogenetic tools for cell-type identification on the population level.

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