Grasshopper Mice

The northern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster) is a carnivorous rodent that feeds on a wide range of invertebrates including some of the most venomous scorpions.  A recent investigation in the lab (led by Diana Sarko) used brain recordings combined with a technique to flatten and section the cerebral hemisphere to reveal the sensory areas in neocortex.  This remarkable view of the brain (right) shows the somatosensory (S1), visual (V1), and auditory areas (A1).  Within the somatosensory area, the large dark circles (cortical barrels) are the cortical representations for the large facial whiskers.  The representations of other body parts are also visible as smaller circles and modules.   The body map in the brain is thus made visible with this technique (PDF of Paper).


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