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Annu Rev Physiol. 2004;66:771-98.

Live optical imaging of nervous system development.

Author information

1
Neurosciences Program and Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA. cris@stanford.edu

Abstract

Although development of the nervous system is inherently a process of dynamic change, until recently it has generally been investigated by inference from static images. However, advances in live optical imaging are now allowing direct observation of growth, synapse formation, and even incipient function in the developing nervous system, at length scales from molecules to cortical regions, and over timescales from milliseconds to months. In this review, we provide technical background and present examples of how these new methods, including confocal and two-photon microscopy, GFP-based markers, and functional indicators, are being applied to provide fresh insight into long-standing questions of neural development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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