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Whole-brain functional ultrasound imaging reveals brain modules for visuomotor integration

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Macé, E., Montaldo, G., Trenholm, S., Cowan, C., Brignall, A., Urban, A., et al. (2018). Whole-brain functional ultrasound imaging reveals brain modules for visuomotor integration. Neuron, 100(5), 1241-1251. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2018.11.031.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-B100-E
Large numbers of brain regions are active during behaviors. A high-resolution, brain-wide activity map could identify brain regions involved in specific behaviors. We have developed functional ultrasound imaging to record whole-brain activity in behaving mice at a resolution of similar to 100 mm. We detected 87 active brain regions during visual stimulation that evoked the optokinetic reflex, a visuomotor behavior that stabilizes the gaze both horizontally and vertically. Using a genetic mouse model of congenital nystagmus incapable of generating the horizontal reflex, we identified a subset of regions whose activity was reflex dependent. By blocking eye motion in control animals, we further separated regions whose activity depended on the reflex's motor output. Remarkably, all reflex-dependent but eye motion-independent regions were located in the thalamus. Our work identifies functional modules of brain regions involved in sensorimotor integration and provides an experimental approach to monitor whole-brain activity of mice in normal and disease states.