Optogenetic-fMRI Investigations of Arousal Networks and Analysis Strategies
- Author(s): Liu, Jia
- Advisor(s): Otis, Tom
- Lee, Jin Hyung
- et al.
Optogenetic functional magnetic resonance imaging (ofMRI) is a novel technique that enables whole-brain visualization of the downstream effects of manipulating a specific neural population. This thesis presents two studies that demonstrate the advantages of ofMRI in brain circuit analysis and offer practical recommendations for ofMRI data analysis. We first describe a study where the technical advantage of ofMRI is utilized in the investigation of arousal networks. The role of central thalamus in forebrain arousal and the frequency-selective modulation of whole-brain networks are uncovered. We then address the challenges of accurate detection and characterization of hemodynamic responses with highly variable temporal dynamics in the ofMRI datasets. In order to find the optimal analysis method, a comprehensive evaluation of the commonly used approaches is presented.