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Abstract #3783

Light-induced activation of the visual network by optogenetic fMRI (ofMRI)

Florian Schmid1, Lydia Wachsmuth1, Franziska Albers1, Nathalie Just1, Miriam Schwalm2, Albrecht Stroh2, and Cornelius Faber1

1Department of Clinical Radiology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany, 2Research Group Molecular Imaging and Optogenetics, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Mainz, Germany

Optogenetic fMRI is a novel tool in neurophysiology and neuroimaging. However, ofMRI is prone to light-induced artifacts. Here, the unspecific activation of the visual pathways in ofMRI in rats was investigated. It was caused by the stimulation light and was also detected in naïve rats without the presence of opsins. Visual stimulation of the eyes resulted in similar activation. Visual pathway activation by intrabrain illumination could be suppressed by additional low-level constant light applied to the eyes. We provide evidence that the activation of the visual pathways is at least partly caused by light scattered diffusely inside the brain.

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