In vivo imaging of neural activity

Nat Methods. 2017 Apr;14(4):349-359. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.4230. Epub 2017 Mar 31.


Since the introduction of calcium imaging to monitor neuronal activity with single-cell resolution, optical imaging methods have revolutionized neuroscience by enabling systematic recordings of neuronal circuits in living animals. The plethora of methods for functional neural imaging can be daunting to the nonexpert to navigate. Here we review advanced microscopy techniques for in vivo functional imaging and offer guidelines for which technologies are best suited for particular applications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Calcium / analysis
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Microscopy / instrumentation
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Neurons / physiology*


  • Calcium