Neuroscience involves many types of measurements, but a large fraction fall into two main groups: anatomy and activity. Anatomical measurements determine the physical arrangement and structure of neurons and the connections between them. Activity measurements determine when and how neurons fire, with the goal of understanding how firing patterns encode information and ultimately drive behavior. Many activity and anatomy measurements use fluorescence microscopy; the demand for sensitivity and time resolution often pushes the physical limits of sensor molecules. We have an active program to characterize the photophysical properties of new dyes and fluorescent protein sensors for calcium, neurotransmitters, and membrane voltage.
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The Applied Physics & Instrumentation Group (APIG) develops unique tools to help Janelia researchers investigate the anatomy, activity, and connectivity of neurons and neural circuits.
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