Imaging brain functions in action
Cell Function Dynamics
In the nervous system, on the one hand, intracellular signaling events are closely linked with electrical activities and play essential roles in information processing. To identify and characterize the mechanisms by which signals are organized inside cells, it is necessary to analyze spatiotemporal patterns of signaling pathways. On the other hand, neural circuitry operates as an ensemble in the nervous system. To investigate the patterns of neuronal firing, it is necessary to monitor multiple transmembrane voltages or signals that result from electrical activity in complex tissues or intact animals. Over the past decade, various probes have been generated principally using fluorescent proteins. We are developing novel probes that will advance our understanding of the spatio-temporal regulation of biological functions inside neurons and brains. We also aim at in-depth brain imaging, which is one of the most sought-after themes of today’s optical technologies; we have been and will be engaged in the development of new technologies that would advance the imaging depth limit.