Functional ultrasound imaging of the brain reveals propagation of task-related brain activity in behaving primates

Abstract : Neuroimaging modalities such as MRI and EEG are able to record from the whole brain, but this comes at the price of either limited spatiotemporal resolution or limited sensitivity. Here, we show that functional ultrasound imaging (fUS) of the brain is able to assess local changes in cerebral blood volume during cognitive tasks, with sufficient temporal resolution to measure the directional propagation of signals. In two macaques, we observed an abrupt transient change in supplementary eye field (SEF) activity when animals were required to modify their behaviour associated with a change of saccade tasks. SEF activation could be observed in a single trial, without averaging. Simultaneous imaging of anterior cingulate cortex and SEF revealed a time delay in the directional functional connectivity of 0.27 ± 0.07 s and 0.9 ± 0.2 s for both animals. Cerebral hemodynamics of large brain areas can be measured at high spatiotemporal resolution using fUS.
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Alexandre Dizeux, Marc Gesnik, Harry Ahnine, Kevin Blaize, Fabrice Arcizet, et al.. Functional ultrasound imaging of the brain reveals propagation of task-related brain activity in behaving primates. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 10, pp.1400. ⟨10.1038/s41467-019-09349-w⟩. ⟨hal-02094654⟩

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