UNIT 2.3 Imaging Nervous System Activity

  1. R. Douglas Fields1,
  2. Neil Shneider2,
  3. George Z. Mentis2,
  4. Michael J. O'Donovan2

Published Online: 1 OCT 2009

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0203s49

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Fields, R. D., Shneider, N., Mentis, G. Z. and O'Donovan, M. J. 2009. Imaging Nervous System Activity. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 55:2.3:2.3.1–2.3.16.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Section on Nervous System Development and Plasticity, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), NIH, Bethesda, Maryland

  2. 2

    Section on Developmental Neurobiology, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), NIH, Bethesda, Maryland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 OCT 2009
  2. Published Print: OCT 2009


This unit describes methods for loading ion- and voltage-sensitive dyes into neurons, with a particular focus on the spinal cord as a model system. In addition, we describe the use of these dyes to visualize neural activity. Although the protocols described here concern spinal networks in culture or an intact in vitro preparation, they can be, and have been, widely used in other parts of the nervous system. Curr. Protoc. Neurosci. 49:2.3.1-2.3.14. © 2009 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • ion-sensitive dyes;
  • voltage-sensitive dyes;
  • electroporation;
  • inverse Pericam;
  • retrograde loading