Imaging calcium dynamics in dendritic spines

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1996 Jun;6(3):372-8. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(96)80122-x.


Recent advances in optical imaging technology have enabled the measurement of Ca2+ dynamics in individual synaptic spines with high time resolution. Results from work using this new technology have confirmed the view that individual synaptic spines can act as functional chemical compartments with independent dynamics of second-messenger concentration. In particular, the ability of Ca2+ to directly mediate Hebbian coincidence detection has been confirmed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / physiology*
  • Calcium Channels / physiology
  • Dendrites / metabolism*
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Electrophysiology
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Optics and Photonics*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism
  • Synapses / physiology


  • Calcium Channels
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Calcium