The vascularised rat retina could be one of the most useful experimental objects in visual neuroscience to understand human visual physiological and pathological processes. We report here on a new method of implantation for studying the visual system of freely moving rats that provides a rat model for simultaneous recording at corneal and cortical level and is stable enough to record for months. We implanted light emitting diodes onto the skull behind the eyeball to stimulate the eye with flashes and to light adapt the retina with constant light levels. A multistrand, stainless steel, flexible fine wire electrode placed on the eyeball was used for electroretinogram recording and screw electrodes (left/right visual and parietal cortical) were used to record the visual evoked potential and the electroencephalogram. In the present report we focus on the new method of implantation for recording the corneal flash electroretinogram of normal, freely moving rats simultaneously with the visual evoked cortical potential showing examples in various visual experiments. We also introduce a program for retinogram and visual evoked potential analysis, which defines various measures (latencies, areas, amplitudes, and durations) and draw attention to the benefits of this method for those involved in visual, functional genomic, pharmacological, and human ophthalmologic research.
- Chronically implanted electrodes
- Rodent retina
- Visual evoked potential
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