Getting Started
How to use this guide

This guide was created to help new scientists rapidly achieve a basic understanding of common electrophysiology concepts so they can quickly begin to participate in patch-clamp experiments and evaluate scientific literature. This document is only a survey-level introduction to basic electrophysiological concepts, and a thorough review of the scientific literature is required to achieve a deep understanding of cellular neurophysiology and the techniques used to study it.

Rotation Students

New graduate students about to begin a rotation project involving electrophysiology will benefit from taking these first steps:

  • Review the Electrophysiology Crash Course with the goal of achieving an understanding of all the bold terms such that you can describe them conversationally. A firm understanding of the core concepts introduced here will make all subsequent chapters (and your rotation project) far easier to understand and discuss.

  • Review Experiment Designs and Common Agents related to your project. You will need guidance from other lab members at first to know which experiments you will be expected to perform, but understanding those experiments and having an idea what the data is expected to look like will be useful in getting started.

  • Refer to How to Patch Neurons before your first day of experiments. Your first day will be easier if you have memorized the steps before attempting to patch-clamp neurons.