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J Neurosci Methods. 2009 Mar 30;178(1):162-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2008.11.026. Epub 2008 Dec 11.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) reveals depth-resolved dynamics during functional brain activation.

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  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Optical intrinsic signal imaging (OISI) provides two-dimensional, depth-integrated activation maps of brain activity. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides depth-resolved, cross-sectional images of functional brain activation. Co-registered OCT and OISI imaging was performed simultaneously on the rat somatosensory cortex through a thinned skull during forepaw electrical stimulation. Fractional signal change measurements made by OCT revealed a functional signal that correlates well with that of the intrinsic hemodynamic signals and provides depth-resolved, layer-specific dynamics in the functional activation patterns indicating retrograde vessel dilation. OCT is a promising a new technology which provides complementary information to OISI for functional neuroimaging.

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