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Genetically encoded tools for visualizing and manipulating neurons in vivo have led to significant advances in neuroscience, in large part because of the ability to target expression to specific cell populations of interest. Current methods enable targeting based on marker gene expression, development, anatomical projection pattern, synaptic connectivity, and recent activity as well as combinations of these factors. Here, we review these methods, focusing on issues of practical implementation as well as areas for future improvement.

Original publication




Journal article


Annu Rev Genet

Publication Date





571 - 594


actuator, chemogenetics, effector, optogenetics, reporter, transgene expression, viral vector, Animals, Animals, Genetically Modified, Gene Expression, Gene Transfer Techniques, Genetic Techniques, Humans, Neurons, Neurosciences, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Transgenes