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Understanding the structure and function of neural circuits are central questions in neuroscience research. To address these questions, new genetically encoded tools have been developed for mapping, monitoring, and manipulating neurons. Essential to implementation of these tools is their selective delivery to defined neuronal populations in the brain. This has been facilitated by recent improvements in cell type-specific transgene expression using recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors. Here, we highlight these developments and discuss areas for improvement that could further expand capabilities for neural circuit analysis.