Art in neuroscience
What do hippocampal neurons, Golgi, dottyback pigmentary cells and the dance of snares in the dark all have in common?
Kapwa: The full body of the zebrafish is captured using high-resolution fluorescence microscopy. Taking advantage of the transparent skin of the zebrafish, fluorescent proteins are observed in many slices through the fish, resulting in a large 3D monochrome image. This image is then transformed into a 2D image using colour to represent height.
That which makes us linger: Being able to accurately trace neurons (brain cells), including the fine protrusions (spines) where they connect with other neurons is essential to advancing our understanding of the brain. This image was captured using high-resolution spinning disk confocal microscopy and further processed using a technique called "deconvolution" to digitally restore finer, previously obscured details. The combination of these techniques allows a precise reproduction of two adjacent neurons. Colour in this image reflects depth in 3D.
Within the in-between: Rapid imaging of fluorescently labelled neurons using confocal microscopy allows researchers to build 3D models of the fine cellular architecture of the brain. This image reveals the cell bodies (large round objects) of neurons and their complex interconnected processes. Shades of orange through to blue reflect the height at which each neuron is sitting within the 3D tissue.