Identification of presynaptic neurons by laser photostimulation

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Science  02 Dec 1983:
Vol. 222, Issue 4627, pp. 1025-1027
DOI: 10.1126/science.6648515


An optical method involving the use of a laser and a novel fluorescent dye as a photostimulation probe has been developed to identify presynaptic neurons in a large ensemble of cells. Illumination of an extracellularly stained neuron by the laser microbeam evokes action potentials. With this technique an interneuron connecting identified leech neurons was quickly located. The method speeds up the elucidation of neuronal networks, especially when small cells are involved.