The common approach to scientific research is to follow the theory of reductionism, which dissects complex scientific questions into basic components, thus limiting experimental variables and potential confounds in the experimental results. In electrophysiology, the reductionist’s approach has successfully provided a plethora of groundbreaking findings especially through the use of ex vivo measurements whereby the experimenter can more easily manipulate the circuit and/or neuron. However, by taking this ex vivo approach, many additional findings may go undiscovered and the physiological relevance may be questioned as neurons or circuits are removed from their in vivo milieu. Therefore, in vivo electrophysiology is a useful tool for the beginning electrophysiologist to become acquainted with as it extends ex vivo findings into physiologically relevant discoveries.
Key wordsAction potentials Synaptic currents Intrinsic currents Calcium spikes Afterhyperpolarization currents Gap junctions Glia Ephaptic conduction Electroencephalogram Electrocorticogram Local field potentials
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