Understanding the neural correlates of behavior in the mammalian cortex requires measurements of activity in awake, behaving animals. Rodents have emerged as a powerful model for dissecting the cortical circuits underlying behavior attributable to the convergence of several methods. Genetically encoded calcium indicators combined with viral-mediated or transgenic tools enable chronic monitoring of calcium signals in neuronal populations and subcellular structures of identified cell types. Stable one- and two-photon imaging of neuronal activity in awake, behaving animals is now possible using new behavioral paradigms in head-fixed animals, or using novel miniature head-mounted microscopes in freely moving animals. This mini-symposium will highlight recent applications of these methods for studying sensorimotor integration, decision making, learning, and memory in cortical and subcortical brain areas. We will outline future prospects and challenges for identifying the neural underpinnings of task-dependent behavior using cellular imaging in rodents.