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Functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging of humans and macaques

Functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging of humans and macaques
Kyle Alan Bernheim


Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technique which finds use in the neurosciences both as an anatomical and functional localization tool. The traditional uses of MRI for structural analysis, such as are commonly found in medicine, can be adapted to serve in place of histological studies for identifying areas of interest in the cortex. Functional MRI (fMRI) is a rapidly developing tangent of MRI which can be used alone or in tandem with classical electrophysiological experiments to investigate neural activity. Although developed intensely for clinical and scientific studies in human subjects, MRI and fMRI have been used increasingly in the non-human primate. This document contains work exemplifying the use of fMRI in both species and methods for pre- and post-surgical anatomical MRI in the non-human primate. Serving as a solid foundation for learning the principles of block-design fMRI, a classic visual illusion, the motion aftereffect, is studied in the human by means of a hemifield visual stimulus using conventional blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) fMRI. Primary response and levels of motion aftereffect are analyzed in visual cortex, areas pMT and pMST. A novel use of iron oxide nanoparticles as an intravascular contrast agent in the non-human primate is investigated as a method of boosting fMRI contrast, yielding an ultimate gain in contrast-to-noise at the expense of temporal resolution. While anatomical imaging served as a necessary tool for the localization of functional response in the human, further novel techniques were investigated in the non-human primate. A technique for MRI-guided implantation of multiple electrode arrays is considered, to aid the localization of sites of interest in the cortex. The use of MRI as a replacement for histological preparations for purposes of reconstructing electrode penetration sites is documented. These studies exist to aid in bridging the gap between human and non-human MRI and fMRI. Further application of these principles could be extended to the eventual placement of intracortical recording devices in the human, to benefit a patient population needing devices such as a neural prosthesis.