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Most neurons in the CNS have complex, branching dendritic trees, which receive the majority of all synaptic input. As it is difficult to make electrical recordings from dendrites because of their small size, most of what is known about their electrical properties has been inferred from recordings made at the soma. By taking advantage of the higher resolution offered by improved optics, it is now possible to make patch-pipette recordings from the dendrites of neurons in brain slices under visual control. This new technique promises to provide valuable new information concerning dendritic function.