In handling computer hardware, the last thing anyone would like to do is expose electronic components to electrostatic discharges. Nevertheless, this is exactly an approach that researchers are taking toward faster and more energy-efficient computing. Inspired by the functions of neurons and synapses in the brain, resistive switching devices or “memristors” are being explored as building blocks for neuromorphic circuitry. In such devices, the resistance properties are durably altered by applying voltage pulses. On page 907 of this issue, del Valle et al. (1) have imaged the early stages of electric field–induced electronic breakdown and formation of a conducting filament in vanadium oxide. By doing this in a space- and time-resolved manner, the authors provide useful insight into the characteristic length and time scales involved.