Identification of presynaptic neurons by laser photostimulation

Science. 1983 Dec 2;222(4627):1025-7. doi: 10.1126/science.6648515.


An optical method involving the use of a laser and a novel fluorescent dye as a photostimulation probe has been developed to identify presynaptic neurons in a large ensemble of cells. Illumination of an extracellularly stained neuron by the laser microbeam evokes action potentials. With this technique an interneuron connecting identified leech neurons was quickly located. The method speeds up the elucidation of neuronal networks, especially when small cells are involved.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Interneurons / physiology
  • Lasers*
  • Leeches
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Mollusca
  • Neural Pathways
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation*
  • Ranidae
  • Synapses / physiology*


  • Fluorescent Dyes