Baby zebrafish had a chemical indicator added to each of their neurons
Indicator became fluorescent in the tenth of a second after a neuron fired
A laser illuminated the neurons firing allowing the footage to be captured
Study could allow researchers to better understand the ‘rules’ of brain activity by mapping which neurons are responsible for certain movements
This new technique was able to capture 80 per cent of the fish’s neurons in action, showing the electrical storm within its brain in unprecedented detail.
The study could allow researchers to better understand the ‘rules’ of the brain activity by mapping exactly which neurons are responsible for certain movements.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Virginia
WHAT IS LIGHT-SHEET IMAGING?
In a light sheet microscope, a sheet of laser light scans across a sample, illuminating a thin section at a time.
Each zebrafish was genetically engineered to have a chemical indicator in each neuron. This indicator becomes fluorescent in the tenth of a second after a neuron fires.
To enable a fish in the microscope to see and respond to its virtual-reality environment, Professor Ahrens' team needed to protect its eyes.