Pulsed infrared light alters neural activity in rat somatosensory cortex in vivo

Pulsed infrared light has shown promise as an alternative to electrical stimulation in applications where contact free or high spatial precision stimulation is desired. Infrared neural stimulation (INS) is well characterized in the peripheral nervous system; however, to date, research has been limit...

Full description

Published in: NeuroImage (Orlando, Fla.) Vol. 57; no. 1; pp. 155 - 166
Main Authors: Cayce, Jonathan M, Friedman, Robert M, Jansen, E. Duco, Mahavaden-Jansen, Anita, Roe, Anna W
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Published: United States Elsevier Inc 07-01-2011
Elsevier B.V
Subjects:
INS
INS
Online Access: Get full text
Summary: Pulsed infrared light has shown promise as an alternative to electrical stimulation in applications where contact free or high spatial precision stimulation is desired. Infrared neural stimulation (INS) is well characterized in the peripheral nervous system; however, to date, research has been limited in the central nervous system. In this study, pulsed infrared light (λ=1.875μm, pulse width=250μs, radiant exposure=0.01–0.55J/cm2, fiber size=400μm, repetition rate=50–200Hz) was used to stimulate the somatosensory cortex of anesthetized rats, and its efficacy was assessed using intrinsic optical imaging and electrophysiology techniques. INS was found to evoke an intrinsic response of similar magnitude to that evoked by tactile stimulation (0.3–0.4% change in intrinsic signal magnitude). A maximum deflection in the intrinsic signal was measured to range from 0.05% to 0.4% in response to INS, and the activated region of cortex measured approximately 2mm in diameter. The intrinsic signal magnitude increased with faster laser repetition rates and increasing radiant exposures. Single unit recordings indicated a statistically significant decrease in neuronal firing that was observed at the onset of INS stimulation (0.5s stimulus) and continued up to 1s after stimulation onset. The pattern of neuronal firing differed from that observed during tactile stimulation, potentially due to a different spatial integration field of the pulsed infrared light compared to tactile stimulation. The results demonstrate that INS can be used safely and effectively to manipulate neuronal firing. ► Pulsed IR light on cortex induces intrinsic optical signal. ► IR light induced IOS is similar in magnitude and time course to IOS of tactile stimulation. ► INS evokes changes in neural activity without loss of cortical functionality. ► Introduces a new stimulation method for studying cortical circuitry and function.
ISSN: 1053-8119
1095-9572
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.03.084