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Neuroimage. 2012 Oct 1;62(4):2244-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.01.116. Epub 2012 Feb 3.

Informing brain connectivity with optogenetic functional magnetic resonance imaging.

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Department of Electrical Engineering, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, and Radiology, Neuroscience, and Biomedical Engineering Interdepartmental Program, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Optogenetic functional magnetic resonance imaging (ofMRI) is a novel approach that combines optogenetic control of neural circuits with high-field functional MRI. Optogenetics is a neuro-modulation technology in which light-activated trans-membrane conductance regulators are introduced into specifically targeted cell types to allow temporally precise, millisecond-scale activity modulation in vivo. By combining optogenetic control with fMRI readout, neural activity arising from specific circuit elements defined by genetic identity, cell body location, and axonal projection targets can be monitored in vivo across the whole brain. These unique features of ofMRI open new vistas for in vivo characterization of the dense plexus of neural connections according to their type and functionality.

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