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Review
, 85 (3), 462-83

Visualizing Whole-Brain Activity and Development at the Single-Cell Level Using Light-Sheet Microscopy

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Review

Visualizing Whole-Brain Activity and Development at the Single-Cell Level Using Light-Sheet Microscopy

Philipp J Keller et al. Neuron.

Abstract

The nature of nervous system function and development is inherently global, since all components eventually influence one another. Networks communicate through dense synaptic, electric, and modulatory connections and develop through concurrent growth and interlinking of their neurons, processes, glia, and blood vessels. These factors drive the development of techniques capable of imaging neural signaling, anatomy, and developmental processes at ever-larger scales. Here, we discuss the nature of questions benefitting from large-scale imaging techniques and introduce recent applications. We focus on emerging light-sheet microscopy approaches, which are well suited for live imaging of large systems with high spatiotemporal resolution and over long periods of time. We also discuss computational methods suitable for extracting biological information from the resulting system-level image data sets. Together with new tools for reporting and manipulating neuronal activity and gene expression, these techniques promise new insights into the large-scale function and development of neural systems.

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