Genetically Encoded Voltage Indicators: Opportunities and Challenges

Helen H. Yang1 and François St-Pierre2,3 1Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, 2Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, and 3Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005 Abstract A longstanding goal in neuroscience is to understand how spatiotemporal patterns of neuronal electrical activity underlie brain function, from sensory representations to decision making. An emerging technology for monitoring electrical dynamics, voltage imaging using genetically encoded voltage indicators (GEVIs), couples the power of genetics with the advantages of light. Here, we review the properties that determine indicator performance and applicability, discussing both recent progress and technical limitations. We then consider GEVI applications, highlighting studies that have already deployed GEVIs for biological discovery. We also examine which classes of biological questions GEVIs are primed…

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