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In vivo calcium imaging is an incredibly powerful technique that provides simultaneous information on fast neuronal events, such as action potentials and subthreshold synaptic activity, as well as slower events that occur in the glia and surrounding neuropil. Bulk-loading methods that involve multiple injections can be used for single-cell as well as wide-field imaging studies. However, multiple injections result in inhomogeneous loading as well as multiple sites of potential cortical injury. We used convection-enhanced delivery to create smooth, continuous loading of a large area of the cortical surface through a solitary injection site and demonstrated the efficacy of the technique using confocal microscopy imaging of single cells and physiological responses to single-trial events of spontaneous activity, somatosensory-evoked potentials, and epileptiform events. Combinations of calcium imaging with voltage-sensitive dye and intrinsic signal imaging demonstrate the utility of this technique in neurovascular coupling investigations. Convection-enhanced loading of calcium dyes may be a useful technique to advance the study of cortical processing when widespread loading of a wide-field imaging is required.

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calcium imaging, convection-enhanced loading, intrinsic optical imaging, neurovascular coupling, optical recording