Optogenetic resting-state fMRI reveals thalamic modulation of long-range sensory networks
Alex T. L. Leong1,2, Xunda Wang1,2, Russell W. Chan1,2, Leon C. Ho1,2, Yongrong Qiu1,2, Celia M. Dong1,2, and Ed X. Wu1,2
1Laboratory of Biomedical Imaging and Signal Processing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
One grand challenge in contemporary neuroscience is to achieve an integrated understanding of large-scale brain-wide networks. Resting-state functional MRI (rsfMRI) has helped reveal such brain-wide networks, yet, the neural bases underlying them remain unclear. Utilizing optogenetic excitation and pharmacological inactivation to manipulate the neural activity of somatosensory thalamocortical neurons, the present study demonstrated that rsfMRI connectivity is enhanced and decreased respectively. Furthermore, our findings suggest that optogenetically-evoked propagating low frequency activity (~1Hz) within the thalamo-cortico-thalamic network facilitate the enhancement of rsfMRI connectivity. Our work offers an exciting avenue to dissect the underlying neural bases of brain-wide functional connectivity.
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