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Laminar regulation of hemodynamics in primary auditory cortex

Principal Investigator:
  • Ravi Rungta, University of Montreal
  • The Azrieli Foundation

Project Overview

Brain disorders and disease represent an immense societal burden and the leading cost to the Canadian health care system. Although research in animal models has led to major advances in our understanding of brain function and dysfunction at the cellular level, a major challenge remains bridging these findings from animals to humans. Bridging this gap, is made difficult by the fact that the techniques used to image brain activity at the network level in humans and at the cellular (single cell) level in animal models are vastly different. The study of brain activity in humans, both in health and disease, relies heavily on non-invasive imaging methods, which measure changes in blood vessel signals (e.g., blood flow, volume, speed), as surrogates of neuron activity. Most of these methods have a number of limitations, the most important being that our understanding of the spatial relationship between neuronal activity and vascular signals remains limited. In this project we will combine advanced imaging methodologies to measure both cellular (neuron) activity, and vascular signals at different spatial scales in an area of the mouse brain that processes information about sound. The goal of this project is to understand how neuron activity patterns are translated by the brain’s complex tree-like network of blood vessels, and how they relate to functional imaging signals, commonly used to map human brain activity. This work will improve our understanding of how blood flow is controlled in health and disease. It will also enhance the interpretation of human brain mapping and help form a bridge between animal and human studies.