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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Sep 10;110(37):15115-20. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1307154110. Epub 2013 Aug 26.

Quantitative basis for neuroimaging of cortical laminae with calibrated functional MRI.

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Magnetic Resonance Research Center and Departments of Diagnostic Radiology, Biomedical Engineering, Neurology, and Neurobiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520.


Layer-specific neurophysiologic, hemodynamic, and metabolic measurements are needed to interpret high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data in the cerebral cortex. We examined how neurovascular and neurometabolic couplings vary vertically in the rat's somatosensory cortex. During sensory stimulation we measured dynamic layer-specific responses of local field potential (LFP) and multiunit activity (MUA) as well as blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal and cerebral blood volume (CBV) and blood flow (CBF), which in turn were used to calculate changes in oxidative metabolism (CMR(O2)) with calibrated fMRI. Both BOLD signal and CBV decreased from superficial to deep laminae, but these responses were not well correlated with either layer-specific LFP or MUA. However, CBF changes were quite stable across laminae, similar to LFP. However, changes in CMR(O2) and MUA varied across cortex in a correlated manner and both were reduced in superficial lamina. These results lay the framework for quantitative neuroimaging across cortical laminae with calibrated fMRI methods.


electroencephalography; glutamate; lactate; neuroenergetics; spike rate

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