About the Practical Course
The past decade has witnessed a revolution in the use of light to interrogate neural circuits. Advances in two-photon and three-photon microscopy and in genetically encoded activity indicators have provided us with unprecedented new opportunities to study neuronal circuit dynamics in the brains of living animals. These imaging approaches now allow the investigation of synaptic physiology, dendritic integration, neuronal and glial activation, and neuronal population dynamics in vivo. At the same time, two-photon optogenetic techniques now permit the activity of neurons to be controlled with millisecond precision. Combining simultaneous imaging and optogenetics now enables true 'all-optical' interrogation of neural circuits, allowing causal links to be made between activity patterns and behaviour. In this EMBO Practical Course we aim to provide intense and comprehensive training to young researchers to allow them to successfully apply these optical techniques for their own research. Our target audience is young neuroscientists and biophysicists (PhD and postdoc level) for whom it is difficult to obtain the appropriate training, either because they do not come from specialized imaging labs or because they lack training in the relevant physical or biological principles. The course will provide participants with the theoretical background and practical knowledge to master the latest multiphoton interrogation methods.