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Chemical signaling between neurons in the brain can be divided into two major categories: fast synaptic transmission and neuromodulation. Fast synaptic transmission, mediated by amino acids such as glutamate and GABA, occurs on millisecond time scales and results in the influx of ions through ligand-gated ion channels on postsynaptic neurons (Figure 1A). Electrophysiological and optical imaging tools, including genetically encoded voltage indicators, have enabled neuroscientists to link cause (neurotransmitter release) and effect (membrane polarization) of synaptic transmission in time and space. Unlike classical neurotransmitters, neuromodulators do not produce immediate electrical effects that excite or inhibit target neurons. Instead, neuromodulators tune the intrinsic or synaptic properties of neurons, most commonly through interaction with G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) (Figure 1B). Neuromodulators can escape the synaptic cleft and diffuse broadly, allowing them to influence the activity of many neurons in a state-dependent manner. Therefore, the spatial component of neuromodulator flux is fundamentally important. However, the temporal and/or spatial limitations of techniques classically used to study neuromodulation, such as microdialysis and fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV), make it difficult to interpret how neuromodulator release affects the plasticity or function of target neuronal populations on a moment-to-moment basis. Therefore, tools that can detect neuromodulators with high spatiotemporal resolution are critical for understanding their impact on neural computations that control behavior in health and disease.