Tools for the Dissection of Neural Circuits
Loren Looger, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farms

I will discuss new tools for visualizing and manipulating neurons in the context of awake behaving animals. It is now possible to detect ~100% of action potentials ("spikes") in neurons in many parts of the brain. Imaging such probes in the context of animal behavior reveals the contribution of specific cells and circuits to learning, memory and task execution. Recently developed probes almost make it possible for the first time to image specific neurotransmitters such as glutamate in the context of an intact brain in a behaving animal. This work is extremely interdisciplinary, requiring experts in physics, computer science, protein structure, and engineering; as such, it should be of interest to the broad audience of the Kavli Frontiers Symposium.

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