Functional ultrasound imaging of deep visual cortex in awake nonhuman primates

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Jun 23;117(25):14453-14463. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1916787117. Epub 2020 Jun 8.


Deep regions of the brain are not easily accessible to investigation at the mesoscale level in awake animals or humans. We have recently developed a functional ultrasound (fUS) technique that enables imaging hemodynamic responses to visual tasks. Using fUS imaging on two awake nonhuman primates performing a passive fixation task, we constructed retinotopic maps at depth in the visual cortex (V1, V2, and V3) in the calcarine and lunate sulci. The maps could be acquired in a single-hour session with relatively few presentations of the stimuli. The spatial resolution of the technology is illustrated by mapping patterns similar to ocular dominance (OD) columns within superficial and deep layers of the primary visual cortex. These acquisitions using fUS suggested that OD selectivity is mostly present in layer IV but with extensions into layers II/III and V. This imaging technology provides a new mesoscale approach to the mapping of brain activity at high spatiotemporal resolution in awake subjects within the whole depth of the cortex.

Keywords: brain imaging; functional ultrasound imaging; nonhuman primate; ocular dominance; visual cortex.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Dominance, Ocular / physiology
  • Female
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spatio-Temporal Analysis
  • Ultrasonography / methods
  • Visual Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*