Two-photon optogenetics of dendritic spines and neural circuits

Nat Methods. 2012 Dec;9(12):1202-5. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2249. Epub 2012 Nov 11.


We demonstrate a two-photon optogenetic method that generates action potentials in neurons with single-cell precision, using the red-shifted opsin C1V1(T). We applied the method to optically map synaptic circuits in mouse neocortical brain slices and to activate small dendritic regions and individual spines. Using a spatial light modulator, we split the laser beam onto several neurons and performed simultaneous optogenetic activation of selected neurons in three dimensions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Dendritic Spines / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Opsins
  • Optogenetics
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Photons*


  • Opsins