Tools for resolving functional activity and connectivity within intact neural circuits

Curr Biol. 2014 Jan 6;24(1):R41-R50. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.042.


Mammalian neural circuits are sophisticated biological systems that choreograph behavioral processes vital for survival. While the inherent complexity of discrete neural circuits has proven difficult to decipher, many parallel methodological developments promise to help delineate the function and connectivity of molecularly defined neural circuits. Here, we review recent technological advances designed to precisely monitor and manipulate neural circuit activity. We propose a holistic, multifaceted approach for unraveling how behavioral states are manifested through the cooperative interactions between discrete neurocircuit elements.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*


  • Calcium