Particle tracking facilitates real time motion compensation in 2D or 3D two-photon imaging of neuronal activity

Samira Aghayee, Zach Bowen, Daniel E. Winkowski, Matt Harrington, Patrick O. Kanold, Wolfgang Losert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The application of 2-photon laser scanning microscopy (TPLSM) techniques to measure the dynamics of cellular calcium signals in populations of neurons is an extremely powerful technique for characterizing neural activity within the central nervous system. The use of TPLSM on awake and behaving subjects promises new insights into how neural circuit elements cooperatively interact to form sensory perceptions and generate behavior. A major challenge in imaging such preparations is animal and tissue movement, which leads to shifts in the imagine location (jitter). Although there are surgical and technical approaches to minimize brain motion under these conditions, it is generally unavoidable. The presence of image motion can lead to artifacts, especially since quantification of TPLSM images involves analysis of fluctuations in fluorescence intensities for each neuron, determined from small regions of interest (ROIs) Here, we validated a new motion correction approach to compensate for motion of TPLSM images in the superficial layers of auditory cortex of awake mice. We use a nominally uniform fluorescent signal as a secondary signal to complement the dynamic signals from genetically encoded calcium indicators. We tested motion correction for single plane time lapse imaging a; well as multiplane (i.e. volume) time lapse imaging of cortical tissue. Our procedure of motion compensation relies on locating the brightest neurons and tracking their positions over time using established techniques of particle finding and tracking. The performance of our techniques both for 2D (single plane) and 3D (volume) image sequences is comparable to established techniques in its ability to suppress false neural signals. Object tracking based motion compensation thus offers an alternative approach for motion compensation, one that is we suited for real time feedback control and for analysis of tissue distortions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Feb 27 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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