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Abstract #0400

Layer specific neural interactions in the thalamo-cortical and cortico-cortical networks: An optogenetic manganese-enhanced MRI study

Karim El Hallaoui1,2, Eddie C. Wong1,2, Xunda Wang1,2, Alex T. L. Leong1,2, Russell W. Chan1,2, Celia M. Dong1,2, and Ed X. Wu1,2

1Laboratory of Biomedical Imaging and Signal Processing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China, 2Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

The thalamo-cortical projections terminating in the primary somatosensory cortex are anatomically organized into layers. However, the functional layer-specificity of the axonal pathways which comprise the thalamo-cortical circuit remains to be studied. Combining optogenetic stimulation and manganese-enhanced MRI, the present study selectively induces neural activity in the ventral posteromedial nucleus to induce the deposit of manganese in its projections in-vivo. By identifying the cortical regions with increased contrast, using images acquired with the MDEFT MRI experiment, we infer the layer-specific connections from the thalamus to the primary somatosensory cortex.

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