Mosquitoes spread dengue, Zika, malaria, and other pathogens to hundreds of millions of people every year. A better understanding of mosquito behavior and its underlying neural mechanisms may lead to new control strategies, but such an understanding requires the development of tools and approaches for exploring the nervous system of key vector species. For example, we can now image neural activity in mosquito brains using genetically encoded calcium sensors like GCaMP. Compared with other types of neural recording, GCaMP imaging has the advantage of allowing one to record from many neurons simultaneously and/or to record from specific neuronal types. Successful implementation requires careful consideration of many factors, including the choice of microscope and how to make the brains of experimental animals visible and stable while minimizing damage. Here, we elaborate on these points and provide a concise introduction to GCaMP imaging in the mosquito central nervous system.
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