Abstract Modern microscopy can visualize neural structures from nanometers to millimeters. New imaging methods, including confocal, two-photon, and polarization microscopy, yield spatial resolutions close to the theoretical limit for visible light. Several super-resolution techniques are in the research/development stage. Important factors include imaging mode, spatial resolution, numerical aperture, magnification, and light wavelength. High-sensitivity/high-resolution digital cameras are essential for rapid acquisition and online processing of 3- and 4-dimensional (time lapse) structural or functional tissue images. Neural image and digitized structure repositories and analysis tools assist in quantitative characterization of normal and pathological neural tissues.