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Curr Protoc Neurosci. 2001 May;Chapter 2:Unit 2.3. doi: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0203s00.

Imaging nervous system activity.

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National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Optical imaging methods rely upon visualization of three types of signals: (1) intrinsic optical signals, including light scattering and reflectance, birefringence, and spectroscopic changes of intrinsic molecules, such as NADH or oxyhemoglobin; (2) changes in fluorescence or absorbance of voltage-sensitive membrane dyes; and (3) changes in fluorescence or absorbance of calcium-sensitive indicator dyes. Of these, the most widely used approach is fluorescent microscopy of calcium-sensitive dyes. This unit describes protocols for the use of calcium-sensitive dyes and voltage-dependent dyes for studies of neuronal activity in culture, tissue slices, and en-bloc preparations of the central nervous system.

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