Backyard Brains (based in Ann Arbor, MI) has developed an easy to use bioamplifier for neuroscience electrophysiology experiments (see pictures above). They essentially have a cockroach leg connected to a circuit, through which they can record and hear the electrical activity (spikes) from the sensory nerves of the cockroach leg! There is even an iPhone application that lets students store the data.
Check out the following videos to see how it works. Enjoy!
- How the system is setup.
- Spiking activity can be visualized when the cue-tip touches the cockroach leg.
- You can also hear the spikes though a speaker.
- This is my favorite: The cockroach leg "dances" to music!!!
This system has allowed junior high, high school as well as undergraduate students to learn about neuroscience and have fun at the same time. What a great way to teach. Bravo!
To learn more about the system and its designers, visit Backyard Brains