Cell migration involves the formation and stabilization of protrusions and the assembly/disassembly of adhesions between the cell and its substrate. Protrusion and adhesion are interconnected and controlled by the efficiency of the linkage between the substrate and the actin cytoskeleton. To investigate how this linkage is regulated during cell migration, Claire Brown and co-authors have used a powerful new technique known as STICS - spatio-temporal image correlation spectroscopy (see p. 5204). By analysing fluorescence image time series collected from migrating cells that contain fluorescent proteins, the authors have built detailed velocity maps for actin and various adhesion-related proteins, including α-actinin, α5-integrin and talin. Their results indicate that the efficiency of the linkage between integrin and actin varies between cell types and depends on the strength of the interaction with the substrate. Furthermore, given the correlations between the movement of different proteins, the authors propose that the linkage between immobile integrin and retrograde-flowing actin contains two slippage points: one between integrin and the cytoplasmic adhesion proteins, the other between these proteins and actin.