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Neuroimage. 2010 May 1;50(4):1456-63. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.01.053. Epub 2010 Jan 28.

High-resolution fMRI mapping of ocular dominance layers in cat lateral geniculate nucleus.

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  • 1Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, Department of Radiology, University of Minnesota Medical School of Medicine, 2021 6(th) Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


In this work, we exploited the superior capability of high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for functional mapping of ocular dominance layer (ODL) in the cat lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). The stimulus-evoked neuronal activities in the LGN ODLs associated with contralateral- and ipsilateral-eye visual inputs were successfully differentiated and mapped using both blood-oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD)-weighted and cerebral blood volume (CBV)-weighted fMRI methods. The morphology of mapped LGN ODLs was in remarkable consistency with histology findings in terms of ODL shape, orientation, thickness and eye-dominance. Compared with the BOLD signal, the CBV signal provides higher reproducibility and better spatial resolvability for function mapping of LGN because of improved contrast-to-noise ratio and point-spread function. The capability of fMRI for non-invasively imaging the functional sub-units of ODL in a small LGN overcomes the limitation of conventional neural-recording approach, and it opens a new opportunity for studying critical roles of LGN in brain function and dysfunction at the fine scale of ocular dominance layer.

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