Improving voltage-sensitive dye imaging: with a little help from computational approaches.
Sandrine Chemla, Lyle Muller, Alexandre Reynaud, Sylvain Takerkart, Alain Destexhe and Frédéric Chavane.

Neurophotonics 4: 031215, 2017.

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Voltage-sensitive dye imaging (VSDI) is a key neurophysiological recording tool because it reaches brain scales that remain inaccessible to other techniques. The development of this technique from in vitro to the behaving nonhuman primate has only been made possible thanks to the long-lasting, visionary work of Amiram Grinvald. This work has opened new scientific perspectives to the great benefit to the neuroscience community. However, this unprecedented technique remains largely under-utilized, and many future possibilities await for VSDI to reveal new functional operations. One reason why this tool has not been used extensively is the inherent complexity of the signal. For instance, the signal reflects mainly the subthreshold neuronal population response and is not linked to spiking activity in a straightforward manner. Second, VSDI gives access to intracortical recurrent dynamics that are intrinsically complex and therefore nontrivial to process. Computational approaches are thus necessary to promote our understanding and optimal use of this powerful technique. Here, we review such approaches, from computational models to dissect the mechanisms and origin of the recorded signal, to advanced signal processing methods to unravel new neuronal interactions at mesoscopic scale. Only a stronger development of interdisciplinary approaches can bridge micro- to macroscales.