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Neuroimage. 2005 Apr 15;25(3):701-7.

Simultaneous recording of task-induced changes in blood oxygenation, volume, and flow using diffuse optical imaging and arterial spin-labeling MRI.

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Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Building 149 13th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.


Increased neural activity in brain tissue is accompanied by an array of supporting physiological processes, including increases in blood flow and the rates at which glucose and oxygen are consumed. These responses lead to secondary effects such as alterations in blood oxygenation and blood volume, and are ultimately the primary determinants of the amplitude and temporal signature of the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal used prevalently to map brain function. We have performed experiments using a combination of optical and MRI-based imaging methods to develop a more comprehensive picture of the physiological events accompanying activation of primary motor cortex during a finger apposition task. Temporal profiles for changes in tissue hemoglobin concentrations were qualitatively similar to those observed for MRI-based flow and oxygenation signals. Quantitative analysis of these signals revealed peak changes of +16 +/- 2% for HbO, -13 +/- 2% for HbR, +8 +/- 3% for total Hb, +83 +/- 9% for cerebral blood flow, and +1.4 +/- 0.1% for the BOLD MRI signal. A mass balance model was used to estimate the change in rate of oxidative metabolism implied by the optical and flow measurements, leading to a computed value of +47 +/- 5%. It should be noted that the optical and MRI observations may in general reflect changes over different volumes of tissue. The ratio of fractional changes in oxidative metabolism to fractional change in blood flow was found to be 0.56 +/- 0.08, in general agreement with previous studies of flow-metabolism coupling.

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