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SomaGCaMP is an improved version of GCaMP, a genetically encoded peptide commonly used as an in vivo calcium indicator in neuroscience studies. In contrast to GCaMP, which can disperse throughout the neuronal cell, SomaGCaMP is comprised of the GCaMP coding sequence with the addition of two peptide sequences that restrict the calcium indicator to the cell body of neurons in both mice and zebrafish. SomaGCaMP fluoresces specifically in the cell body of activated neurons. Expression of SomaGCaMP in neurons enables researchers to precisely identify which neurons within a network are activated under various experimental conditions and eliminates neuropil contamination that is characteristic of data derived from other fluorescent calcium indicators.