Theses Doctoral

Analysis of resting-state neurovascular coupling and locomotion-associated neural dynamics using wide-field optical mapping

Ma, Ying

Understanding the relationship between neural activity and cortical hemodynamics, or neurovascular coupling is the foundation to interpret neuroimaging signals such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) which measure local changes in hemodynamics as a proxy for underlying neural activity. Even though the stereotypical stimulus-evoked hemodynamic response pattern with increased concentration of oxy- and total-hemoglobin and decrease in concentration of deoxy-hemoglobin has been well-recognized, the linearity of neurovascular coupling and its variances depending on brain state and tasks haven’t been thoroughly evaluated.
To directly assess the cortical neurovascular coupling, simultaneous recordings of neural and hemodynamic activity were imaged by wide-field optical mapping (WFOM) over the bilateral dorsal surface of the mouse brain through a bilateral thinned-skull cranial window. Neural imaging is achieved through wide-field fluorescence imaging in animals expressing genetically encoded calcium sensor (Thy1-GCaMP). Hemodynamics are recorded via simultaneous imaging of multi-spectral reflectance. Significant hemodynamic crosstalk was found in the detected fluorescence signal and the physical model of the contamination, methods of correction as well as electrophysiological verification are presented.
A linear model between neural and hemodynamic signals was used to fit spatiotemporal hemodynamics can be predicted by convolving local fluorescence changes with hemodynamic response functions derived through both deconvolution and gamma-variate fitting. Beyond confirming that the resting-state hemodynamics in the awake and anesthetized brain are coupled to underlying neural activity, the patterns of bilaterally symmetric spontaneous neural activity observed by WFOM emulate the functionally connected networks detected by fMRI. This result provides reassurance that resting-state functional connectivity has neural origins. With the access to cortical neural activity at mesoscopic level, we further explore the cortical neural representations preceding and during spontaneous locomotion.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Biomedical Engineering
Thesis Advisors
Hillman, Elizabeth M.C.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 11, 2018