Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Neurosci. 2001 Nov;4 Suppl:1215-20.

The neuronal naturalist: watching neurons in their native habitat.

Author information

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Dynamic processes of neural development, such as migrations of precursor cells, growth of axons and dendrites, and formation and modification of synapses, can be fully analyzed only with techniques that monitor changes over time. Although there has been long-standing motivation for following cellular and synaptic events in vivo (intravital microscopy), until recently few preparations have been studied, and then often only with great effort. Innovations in low-light and laser-scanning microscopies, coupled with developments of new dyes and of genetically encoded indicators, have increased both the breadth and depth of in situ imaging approaches. Here we present the motivations and challenges for dynamic imaging methods, offer some illustrative examples and point to future opportunities with emerging technologies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center