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Abstract #1211

Optogenetic fMRI dissection of brain-wide vestibular pathways

Alex T. L. Leong1,2, Xunda Wang1,2, Russell W. Chan1,2, Xiong Cao1,2, 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 vestibular system is essential to our sense of balance and spatial orientation. fMRI mapping of the vestibular system has been challenging due to the physical constraints limiting a subject’s ability to perform motion, balance and orientation related tasks within an MRI scanner. At present, our knowledge of the brain-wide cortical and subcortical regions that participate in processing the vestibular sense is scarce. Here, we combine fMRI and optogenetic stimulation of vestibular excitatory neurons and, for the first time, successfully map the multiple brain-wide vestibular pathways.

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