New method could take a snapshot of the whole brain in action

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Imagine being able to take a crystal-clear snapshot of an entire brain, recording what every single neuron was doing at a particular moment as an animal experienced fear or pleasure or any other emotion. Today, that’s just a dream — neuroscientists have to choose between seeing the entire brain in low resolution or seeing a small piece of it in high resolution — but a new technique known as FLARE could bring that dream one step closer to reality.

The research emerged, says Alice Ting, PhD, out of neuroscientists’ frustration with their inability to capture a fine-grained picture of what the whole brain was doing in experiments, although some well-timed “pestering” also played a role. Ting says her friend and collaborator Kay Tye, PhD, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, kept asking her to develop a method that could achieve both a fine resolution and a wide scope. View Original Article»