A Measured Look at Neuronal Oxygen Consumption

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Science  14 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5609, pp. 1023-1024
DOI: 10.1126/science.1082403

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Do activated neurons in the brain increase their metabolic activity and consume more oxygen? In his Perspective, Mayhew discusses new work ( Thompson et al.) demonstrating that local tissue oxygen content is briefly reduced following stimulation of the cat visual cortex. This implies that activated neurons do increase their consumption of oxygen. Changes in blood oxygenation are the primary intrinsic signals underlying BOLD fMRI imaging of brain activity.