Scientific imaging systems have undergone a revolution over the last century since Wilhelm Röntgen's discovery of X rays in 1895. However, deciding which imaging system will do the job and assist in solving a scientific question—not just produce beautiful graphics with little practical use—can be difficult. This article serves as a minireview of methods and applications of imaging techniques for basic research. It identifies some of the popular types of imaging systems; describes briefly how they work; and illustrates their past, present, and potential future applications. It also attempts to identify inherent pitfalls associated with some of these systems. Finally, it demonstrates some of the specific applications of scientific imaging techniques in neuroscience research.
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Vol. 54 • No. 12