Super-resolution imaging studies have revealed the presence of a membrane-associated periodic skeleton (MPS) structure, composed of actin, spectrin and associated proteins, in the axons and dendrites of neurons; however, the function of the MPS is unclear. Zhou et al. used stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) in cultured mouse neurons to show that, upon extracellular stimulation, the MPS serves as a signalling platform for the co-localization of various signalling molecules, enabling the transactivation of receptor tyrosine kinases and induction of downstream signalling pathways.