To understand brain circuits of cognitive behaviors under natural conditions, we developed techniques for imaging neuronal activities from large neuronal populations in the deep layer cortex of the naturally behaving common marmoset. Animals retrieved food pellets or climbed ladders as a miniature fluorescence microscope monitored hundreds of calcium indicator-expressing cortical neurons in the right primary motor cortex. This technique, which can be adapted to other brain regions, can deepen our understanding of brain circuits by facilitating longitudinal population analyses of neuronal representation associated with cognitive naturalistic behaviors and their pathophysiological processes. Kondo et al. demonstrate calcium imaging from neuronal populations using a miniature fluorescence microscope in naturally behaving non-human primates (NHPs), common marmosets. This technique marks an advance beyond methods that use fixed head positioning, which limits the study of complex, self-determined behaviors such as social interactions or fear and anxiety.
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