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Abstract #5351

Modality specific thalamic activations in rat brain by fMRI

Basavaraju G Sanganahalli1,2,3, Peter Herman1,2,3, Garth J Thompson1,3, and Fahmeed Hyder1,2,3,4

1Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States, 2Quantitative Neuroscience with Magnetic Resonance, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States, 3Magnetic Resonance Research Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States, 4Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States

The thalamus is a crucial node in cortical-subcortical circuits important for human emotion, cognition, and memory. While invasive studies in animals have revealed rich anatomical and functional separation of various thalamic nuclei, we sought to parse the different portions of the rat thalamus in relation to tactile (forepaw, whisker) and non-tactile (visual, olfactory) stimuli by high field fMRI (11.7T). We reproducibly detected BOLD activations of VPL, VPM, POM, dLGN, and MDT, where MDT activation is a novel indication of this structure’s involvement during olfactory processing. These results have significance in understanding the role of both cortical-subcortical circuits during sensory integration.

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