Nathalie Just1, Rolf Gruetter1, 2
1LIFMET, CIBM/EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland; 2Department of Radiology, Universities of Lausanne and Geneva, Switzerland
BOLD fMRI investigations in rodents are useful to understand and interpret the underlying physiological and molecular mechanisms of brain activation. Neurons of the whisker barrel system in the rodent primary somatosensory cortex are known to encode external events in time and space and thus offer an excellent model to study BOLD activation processes. In the present study, we proposed to investigate the BOLD contrast mechanisms initiated during sustained trigeminal nerve (TGN) stimulation in the rat since different stimulation durations could potentially result in different activation maps themselves resulting from the recruitment of different neuronal, vascular or metabolic mechanisms.