Calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) plays a central part in long-term potentiation (LTP), which underlies some forms of learning and memory. Here we monitored the spatiotemporal dynamics of CaMKII activation in individual dendritic spines during LTP using two-photon fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy, in combination with two-photon glutamate uncaging. Induction of LTP and associated spine enlargement in single spines triggered transient ( approximately 1 min) CaMKII activation restricted to the stimulated spines. CaMKII in spines was specifically activated by NMDA receptors and L-type voltage-sensitive calcium channels, presumably by nanodomain Ca(2+) near the channels, in response to glutamate uncaging and depolarization, respectively. The high degree of compartmentalization and channel specificity of CaMKII signalling allow stimuli-specific spatiotemporal patterns of CaMKII signalling and may be important for synapse-specificity of synaptic plasticity.