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Light-gated ion channels and pumps have made it possible to probe intact neural circuits by manipulating the activity of groups of genetically similar neurons. What is needed now is a method for precisely aiming the stimulating light at single neuronal processes, neurons or groups of neurons. We developed a method that combines generalized phase contrast(More)
Multiphoton excitation by temporally focused pulses can be combined with spatial Fourier-transform pulse shaping techniques to enhance spatial control of the excitation volume. Here we propose and demonstrate an optical system for the generation of such spatiotemporally engineered light pulses using a combination of spatial control by a two-dimensional(More)
We report on a simple yet powerful implementation of objective-type total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) and highly inclined and laminated optical sheet (HILO, a type of dark-field) illumination. Instead of focusing the illuminating laser beam to a single spot close to the edge of the microscope objective, we are scanning during the acquisition of(More)
The advent of scanning two-photon microscopy (2PM) has created a fertile new avenue for noninvasive investigation of brain activity in depth. One principal weakness of this method, however, lies with the limit of scanning speed, which makes optical interrogation of action potential-like activity in a neuronal network problematic. Encoded multisite(More)
Temporal focusing of ultrashort pulses has been shown to enable wide-field depth-resolved two-photon fluorescence microscopy. In this process, an entire plane in the sample is selectively excited by introduction of geometrical dispersion to an ultrashort pulse. Many applications, such as multiphoton lithography, uncaging or region-of-interest imaging,(More)
Digital holography is an emerging technology that can generate complex light patterns for controlling the excitability of neurons and neural circuits. The strengths of this technique include a high efficiency with which available light can be effectively utilized and the ability to deliver highly focused light to multiple locations simultaneously. Here we(More)
NG2 cells, oligodendrocyte progenitors, receive a major synaptic input from interneurons in the developing neocortex. It is presumed that these precursors integrate cortical networks where they act as sensors of neuronal activity. We show that NG2 cells of the developing somatosensory cortex form a transient and structured synaptic network with interneurons(More)
Pixilated spatial light modulators are efficient devices to shape the wavefront of a laser beam or to perform Fourier optical filtering. When conjugated with the back focal plane of a microscope objective, they allow an efficient redistribution of laser light energy. These intensity patterns are usually polluted by undesired spots so-called ghosts and(More)
Computer Generated Holography achieves patterned illumination at the sample plane through phase modulation of the laser beam at the objective back aperture. This is obtained by using liquid crystal-based spatial light modulators (LC-SLMs), which modulate the spatial phase of the incident laser beam. A variety of algorithms is employed to calculate the phase(More)
Electrical properties of neuronal processes are extraordinarily complex, dynamic, and, in the general case, impossible to predict in the absence of detailed measurements. To obtain such a measurement one would, ideally, like to be able to monitor electrical subthreshold events as they travel from synapses on distal dendrites and summate at particular(More)
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