Proprioceptors seen with SCAPE

Vaadia, R.D. et al. Curr Biol 29, 935–944 (2019)

Swept confocally aligned planar excitation (SCAPE) microscopy is a multispectral, high-speed technique to image individual cells in behaving animals. Its developers at Columbia University have used it to broadly record neurons in crawling Drosophila larvae in prior studies. In their most recent report, they use SCAPE microscopy to home in on a specific type of neuron, proprioceptors. These neurons provide feedback about body position and are thought to be activated by different types of motion, though recordings in soft-bodied organisms such as fly larvae hadn’t been achieved before. With tweaks made to improve resolution and widen the field of view to capture the entire animal, the team imaged tagged proprioceptors as the larvae crawled and moved its head. Activity of different proprioceptors was sequential, suggesting different cells are responsible for monitoring deformation of the body wall.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ellen P. Neff.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Neff, E.P. Proprioceptors seen with SCAPE. Lab Anim 48, 164 (2019).

Download citation


Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter for a daily update on COVID-19 science.
Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing