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High-Resolution Awake Mouse fMRI at 14 Tesla


Core Concepts
Implantable RF surface coil design enables high-resolution awake mouse fMRI at 14 Tesla, revealing brain-wide functional mapping of sensory signal processing in higher association cortical areas.
Abstract
Abstract Introduces implantable RF surface coil design for high-resolution awake mouse fMRI at 14T. Enables brain-wide functional mapping of visual and vibrissa stimulation. Significance Statement Implantable RF coil serves as a headpost for fixation during scanning. Allows brain-wide mapping of activated visual and vibrissa systems in awake mice. Introduction Overview of fMRI and its role in cognitive neuroscience. Importance of awake mouse fMRI for relevant brain functional mapping. Results Development and validation of implantable RF coils to boost SNR. Brain-wide functional mapping with visual and vibrissa stimulation. Prediction-related barrel cortical activity to patterned air-puff in awake mice. Methods Detailed description of animal surgery, training, anesthesia, and MRI methods. Author Contributions Contribution of authors to the research. Competing Interest Statement Disclosure of competing interests. Supplementary materials and Figures Additional figures and legends related to the study.
Stats
High-resolution fMRI enabled brain-wide functional mapping at 100x100x200µm resolution with a 2s per frame sampling rate. Single loop implantable coils improved SNR 100% over commercial options, while figure 8 style showed a ∼5x increase at 9.4T. Awake mouse fMRI setup allowed high-resolution EPI data acquisition at 100x100x200um spatial resolution with a 2s effective TR.
Quotes
"This work establishes a high-resolution awake mouse fMRI platform, enabling brain-wide functional mapping of sensory signal processing in higher association cortical areas." "The repetitive vibrissa stimulation paradigm in awake mice has enabled us to detect potential anticipatory learning predicting the onset of stimulation."

Key Insights Distilled From

by Hike,D., Liu... at www.biorxiv.org 12-09-2023

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2023.12.08.570803v1
High-resolution awake mouse fMRI at 14 Tesla

Deeper Inquiries

How does the use of implantable RF coils impact the stress levels of awake mice during fMRI scanning?

The use of implantable RF coils can significantly impact the stress levels of awake mice during fMRI scanning in several ways. Firstly, by serving as a headpost for fixation during scanning, the RF coils provide a stable and secure setup for the mice, reducing the need for additional restraints that can cause stress. This head fixation allows the mice to move freely within the constraints of the setup, minimizing the stress associated with being immobilized during the scanning process. Moreover, the implantable RF coils help to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the images, enabling high-resolution imaging with reduced motion-induced artifacts. This means that the scanning process can be more efficient and produce clearer results, reducing the need for repeated scans that can prolong the scanning session and potentially increase stress levels in the mice. Overall, the use of implantable RF coils in awake mouse fMRI can contribute to a more comfortable and less stressful scanning experience for the animals, ultimately improving the quality of the data obtained and the welfare of the research subjects.

How might the findings of this study contribute to the development of new methods for awake animal imaging beyond fMRI?

The findings of this study, particularly the observed anticipatory learning in awake mice during fMRI scanning, have significant implications for the development of new methods for awake animal imaging beyond fMRI. Understanding how animals anticipate and respond to sensory stimuli can provide valuable insights into brain function and behavior, opening up new avenues for research in neuroscience and cognitive science. One potential application of these findings is in the development of advanced imaging techniques that combine fMRI with other modalities, such as optogenetics or chemogenetics, to study neural activity and connectivity in awake animals. By integrating different imaging modalities, researchers can gain a more comprehensive understanding of brain function and behavior in real-time, allowing for more precise and detailed investigations of neural circuits and signaling pathways. Additionally, the findings of this study could inspire the development of novel training and acclimation procedures for awake animal imaging, optimizing the experimental conditions to reduce stress and improve data quality. By refining the methods used to prepare animals for imaging studies, researchers can enhance the reliability and reproducibility of their results, leading to more robust scientific findings. In summary, the insights gained from this study could catalyze the innovation of cutting-edge techniques and approaches for awake animal imaging, pushing the boundaries of our understanding of the brain and paving the way for new discoveries in neuroscience research.

What are the implications of the observed anticipatory learning in awake mice for understanding sensory processing in the brain?

The observed anticipatory learning in awake mice during fMRI scanning has significant implications for understanding sensory processing in the brain. Anticipatory learning refers to the ability of animals to predict and prepare for upcoming stimuli based on previous experiences, a fundamental aspect of cognitive function and adaptive behavior. By studying anticipatory learning in awake mice, researchers can gain insights into how sensory information is processed and integrated in the brain, shedding light on the neural mechanisms underlying perception, attention, and memory. The ability of mice to anticipate and respond to sensory stimuli suggests a sophisticated level of cognitive processing and neural plasticity, highlighting the dynamic nature of brain function. Understanding anticipatory learning in the context of sensory processing can also provide valuable information about how the brain encodes and retrieves sensory memories, forms associations between stimuli, and adapts to changing environmental conditions. By investigating the neural circuits and pathways involved in anticipatory responses, researchers can unravel the complex interplay between different brain regions and their roles in shaping behavior and cognition. Overall, the study of anticipatory learning in awake mice offers a unique window into the inner workings of the brain, offering valuable insights into the mechanisms that underlie sensory processing and cognitive function. These findings can inform future research on brain dynamics, decision-making, and learning processes, advancing our understanding of the complexities of the brain and its role in shaping behavior and perception.
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