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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Cerebral blood oxygenation changes induced by visual stimulation in humans
Author(s): Rudiger Wenzel; Hellmuth Obrig; Jan Ruben; Kersten Villringer; Andreas Thiel; Johannes Bernarding; Ulrich Dirnagl; Arno Villringer
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Paper Abstract

We examined local changes of cerebral oxygenation in response to visual stimuli by means of near infrared spectroscopy. A sharply outlined colored moving stimulus which is expected to evoke a broad activation of the striate and prestriate cortex was presented to sixteen healthy subjects. Six of these subjects were also exposed to a colored stationary and a gray stationary stimulus. In two subjects the colored moving stimulus was tested against the colored stationary with an optode position presumably over area V5/MT. As a control condition, subjects performed a simple finger opposition task. Since the calcarine fissure varies greatly with respect to bony landmarks, optodes were positioned individually according to 3-D reconstructed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Concentration changes in oxyhemoglobin ([oxy-Hb]) and deoxyhemoglobin ([deoxy-Hb]) were continuously monitored with a temporal resolution of 1 s, using an NIRO 500 (Hamamatsu Photonics, KK, Japan). In response to the visual stimulus, the grand average across all sixteen subjects resulted in a significant increase in [oxy-Hb] of 0.3360.09 arbitrary units (mean6S.E.M.) mirrored by a significant decrease in [deoxy-Hb] of −0.1860.02 arbitrary units, while the motor control condition elicited no significant changes in any parameters. When the near infrared spectroscopy probes were positioned over area V5/MT, the drop of [deoxy-Hb] associated with the moving stimulus was significantly more pronounced than with the stationary stimulus in both subjects examined. No significant differences between the visual stimuli were observed at the optode position close to the calcarine fissure. The oxygenation changes observed in this study are consistent with the pattern we have reported for motor activation. They are in line with physiological considerations and functional MRI studies relying on blood oxygenation level-dependent contrast.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 1996
PDF: 6 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 1(4) doi: 10.1117/12.251465
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 1, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Rudiger Wenzel, Humboldt Univ. of Berlin (Germany)
Hellmuth Obrig, Humboldt Univ. (Germany)
Jan Ruben, Humboldt-Univ. (Germany)
Kersten Villringer, Freie Univ. Berlin (Germany)
Andreas Thiel, Freie Univ. Berlin (Germany)
Johannes Bernarding, Freie Univ. Berlin (Germany)
Ulrich Dirnagl, Humboldt-Univ. (Germany)
Arno Villringer, Humboldt-University (Germany)


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