Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University
Simultaneous visualization of activity at multiple synapses
Monitoring the activity of a large number of synapses in a local circuit is likely to provide insights not readily available from serial single synapse measurements. Optical imaging methods can be employed to this end. I will describe one such method that has been successful in studying synapses in vitro. Several functional parameters of single synapses were measured, and the spatial organization of synapses characterized. Many parameters of the synapse were strongly correlated with each other, suggesting that a small number of independent, physically sensible parameters are sufficient to describe synapses. Some of these parameters can be measured in an intact animal using newly-developed optical probes such as those described by Miesenbock in the next talk.