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Ultrasound Technology Captures Whole-Brain Imaging In Mice

Ultrasound Technology Captures Whole-Brain Imaging In Mice

Advantages of functional ultrasound imaging

According to a new study in Neuron, scientists are now able to capture unbiased whole-brain images of behavior in awake mice using functional ultrasound technology. These high-resolution activity maps can provide a deeper system-level understanding of a particular behavior of interest.

Compared to fMRI and other whole-brain imaging technologies, functional ultrasound imaging is easier to use and provides a higher resolution. This study focused on the optokinetic reflex, allowing scientists to observe 87 active regions in the mouse brain during visual stimulation. The optokinetic reflex, which reflexively moves our eyes to follow a moving landscape, is present in mice, humans, and many more species.

In comparison to healthy mice, the brains in mice with a genetic disease that lacked the optokinetic reflex showed inactive brain regions related to limited eye movement. Interestingly, in mice where eye movement was mechanically blocked, some regions in the thalamus were still active, showing that these regions function independently of eye movement ability. This new imaging technology could bring us a greater understanding of the impact of neurologic, psychiatric, and ophthalmologic diseases on brain activity.

The full study text can be accessed here.