Journal of Biomedical OpticsOptical brain imaging in vivo: techniques and applications from animal to man
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Optical brain imaging has seen 30 years of intense development, and has grown into a rich and diverse field. In-vivo imaging using light provides unprecedented sensitivity to functional changes through intrinsic contrast, and is rapidly exploiting the growing availability of exogenous optical contrast agents. Light can be used to image microscopic structure and function in vivo in exposed animal brain, while also allowing noninvasive imaging of hemodynamics and metabolism in a clinical setting. This work presents an overview of the wide range of approaches currently being applied to in-vivo optical brain imaging, from animal to man. Techniques include multispectral optical imaging, voltage sensitive dye imaging and speckle-flow imaging of exposed cortex, in-vivo two-photon microscopy of the living brain, and the broad range of noninvasive topography and tomography approaches to near-infrared imaging of the human brain. The basic principles of each technique are described, followed by examples of current applications to cutting-edge neuroscience research. In summary, it is shown that optical brain imaging continues to grow and evolve, embracing new technologies and advancing to address ever more complex and important neuroscience questions.