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Neuron. 1999 Dec;24(4):791-802.

Imaging cortical dynamics at high spatial and temporal resolution with novel blue voltage-sensitive dyes.

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Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


Conventional imaging techniques have provided high-resolution imaging either in the spatial domain or in the temporal domain. Optical imaging utilizing voltage-sensitive dyes has long had the unrealized potential to achieve high resolution in both domains simultaneously, providing subcolumnar spatial detail with millisecond precision. Here, we present a series of developments in voltage-sensitive dyes and instrumentation that make functional imaging of cortical dynamics practical, in both anesthetized and awake behaving preparations, greatly facilitating exploration of the cortex. We illustrate this advance by analyzing the millisecond-by-millisecond emergence of orientation maps in cat visual cortex.

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