Using intrinsic and voltage-sensitive dye optical imaging methods, somatosensory-evoked neural activity and the consequent metabolic activity were visualized in the barrel cortex at high temporal and spatial resolution. We compared maps of neural and metabolic activity from the perspective of spatial distribution in the cortex. There was good agreement between the two functional maps, if the extent of metabolic activity before a prominent increase in cerebral blood volume (CBV) was assessed. This result indicates that oxygen consumption occurs before CBV changes, in approximately the same cortical area as that in which the preceding neural activity was evoked. This also suggests that the intrinsic signal reflects subthreshold synaptic activity, as well as spiking activity, which is similar to the dye-related signals.