Imaging of functional connectivity in the mouse brain

PLoS One. 2011 Jan 20;6(1):e16322. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016322.


Functional neuroimaging (e.g., with fMRI) has been difficult to perform in mice, making it challenging to translate between human fMRI studies and molecular and genetic mechanisms. A method to easily perform large-scale functional neuroimaging in mice would enable the discovery of functional correlates of genetic manipulations and bridge with mouse models of disease. To satisfy this need, we combined resting-state functional connectivity mapping with optical intrinsic signal imaging (fcOIS). We demonstrate functional connectivity in mice through highly detailed fcOIS mapping of resting-state networks across most of the cerebral cortex. Synthesis of multiple network connectivity patterns through iterative parcellation and clustering provides a comprehensive map of the functional neuroarchitecture and demonstrates identification of the major functional regions of the mouse cerebral cortex. The method relies on simple and relatively inexpensive camera-based equipment, does not require exogenous contrast agents and involves only reflection of the scalp (the skull remains intact) making it minimally invasive. In principle, fcOIS allows new paradigms linking human neuroscience with the power of molecular/genetic manipulations in mouse models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Equipment Design
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Methods
  • Mice
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Optical Devices