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Abstract #0134

Uncovering the Functional Network of Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Awake Rodents using Optogenetic fMRI

Zhifeng Liang 1,2 , Glenn D.R. Waston 2,3 , Kevin D. Alloway 2,3 , Gangchea Lee 1 , Thomas Neuberger 1 , and Nanyin Zhang 1,2

1 Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States, 2 Center for Neural Engineering, The Huck Institutes of Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States, 3 Neural and Behavioral Sciences, College of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA, United States

Medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a critical role in cognition and emotion. However, mPFC functional networks cross the whole brain remains elusive, particularly in awake rodents. Here we combined optogenetics and functional magnetic resonance imaging (opto-fMRI) to reveal mPFC functional networks in awake rodents. We found optogenetic stimulations in infralimbic cortex (IL, part of mPFC) generated robust, reliable and distributed activations in awake rats, which resembled efferent anatomical projections of IL. The results expanded the applicability of opto-fMRI from sensorimotor to cognition-related networks in awake rodents, which can be utilized to investigate circuit-level mechanisms underlying mPFC-related brain functions and behaviors.

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