Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Synaptic transmission often occurs at the current level of pico-amperes. Because of the microscopic currents generated, they must be collected and amplified before they can be examined and analyzed. This job is done by the micro-amplifier. The amplifier directly connects to the electrode acquiring electrical signals from the targeted cell or brain regions. Thanks to advances in semiconducting technology, most amplifiers are light-weight, but extremely efficient in achieving stable, low-noise recordings. Combined with userfriendly software, operating the amplifier requires little effort. We have witnessed several occasions that without any prior experience, an undergraduate student successfully recorded synaptic transmission and collected useful data in a well-tuned setup. Nonetheless, these user-friendly features of the hardware and software are also risky because investigators need to know far less about the underlying mechanisms of their operation before they can start collecting data. This can lead to erroneous results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeuromethods
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages21
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0893-2336
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6045

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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