Dynamic neuroimaging of retinal light responses using fast intrinsic optical signals.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Biological and Quantum Physics Group (P-21), PO Box 1663, MS-D454, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.13). 12/2006; 33(3):898-906. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.06.060
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Transient intrinsic optical responses associated with neural activation offer an attractive strategy for dynamic imaging of neural activity, and may provide a noninvasive methodology for imaging of retinal function. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of near infrared imaging of fast intrinsic optical changes in isolated frog retina activated by visible light. Using a photodiode detector in a transmitted light geometry, we routinely measured dynamic transmitted optical responses in single passes, at the level of one part in 10(4) of background light. Rapid CCD image sequences acquired with transmitted light (bright field) illumination disclosed larger fractional responses and showed evidence of multiple response components with both negative- and positive-going signals with different timecourses. Dark field imaging further enhanced the contrast and sensitivity of optical measures of neural activation. High-resolution imaging disclosed optical responses in single pixels often exceeding 5%, of background light, allowing dynamic imaging at the resolution of single cells, in single passes. Fast optical signals are closely related to identified response components of the electroretinogram. Optical responses showed complex but consistent spatial organization from frame to frame. Our experimental results and theoretical analysis suggest that the optical responses may result from dynamic volume changes corresponding to ion and water flow across the cell membrane, directly associated with the electrophysiological response.