Interactions Between Electrical Activity and Cortical Microcirculation Revealed by Imaging Spectroscopy: Implications for Functional Brain Mapping

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Science  26 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5261, pp. 551-554
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5261.551


Modern neuroimaging techniques use signals originating from microcirculation to map brain function. In this study, activity-dependent changes in oxyhemoglobin, deoxyhemoglobin, and light scattering were characterized by an imaging spectroscopy approach that offers high spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution. Sensory stimulation of cortical columns initiates tissue hypoxia and vascular responses that occur within the first 3 seconds and are highly localized to individual cortical columns. However, the later phase of the vascular response is less localized, spreading over distances of 3 to 5 millimeters.