The CNI offers an internationally outstanding range of imaging techniques as well as for non-invasive human imaging (3 and 7 Tesla MRI, EEG) as for small animal imaging (4.7 Tesla MRI, SPECT/CT) and cellular imaging (2 channel STED, 2 photon confocal microscopy, FRET and FLIM microscopy, electron microscopy).
During the last two decades the classical microscopy has developed from a discipline observing static microstructures to a modern tool for molecular cell biology. The ambitious goal is the analysis of physiologically relevant molecular events on the cellular and sub-cellular scale.
Animal imaging provides an important link between microscopy and human imaging. The available imaging techniques (MRI, SPECT/CT) allow animal experiments that are comparable to studies performed on humans. In addition, animal experiments permit the combination with invasive methods in-vivo. Thus, "molecular imaging" allows to draw conclusions from physiological processes on the molecular level. The combination with pharmacological and electrophysiological methods is particularly revealing with respect to mechanistic explanations of neuronal processes.
For ethical reasons, neuro-scientific research on humans is for the most part confined to non-invasive methods. However, constant innovation in imaging technology and image analysis allows increasingly detailed insight into the human brain.