Visualizing Neurons

Cultured Mouse Hippocampal Pyramidal Neuron expressing GFP

courtesy of Dr. Dezhi Liao

The neuron has been modified genetically to produce the green fluorescent protein (GFP) first isolated from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria.

Move your mouse over the image to show axon, dendrite, and cell body labels. Click and hold the mouse button to see dendritic spines, presynaptic axonal sites, and nerve terminals highlighted. According to Dr. Liao, "Dendritic spines are the fundamental elements of computational processing in the brain."

Visualizing Synapses

Confocal Image Stack A02 courtesy of Blake Ebner and Harry Orr; Text by Jan Dubinsky; Video by Sue Minor

Confocal images of a climbing fiber axon forming synapses on a Purkinje cell and its dendrites emerge as if viewed through a microscope. The most detailed view shows the parts labeled.

Brain Zoo

In this lesson, students observe external brain anatomy to make inferences about the needs of various animals and to identify the types of brains in the Brain Zoo.

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