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Probing for local activity-related modulation of the infrared backscattering of the brain cortex

Biella, Gabriele E. M. and Trevisan, Stefano and Giardini, Mario Ettore (2009) Probing for local activity-related modulation of the infrared backscattering of the brain cortex. Journal of Biophotonics, 2 (10). pp. 588-595. ISSN 1864-063X

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The possibility to measure the metabolic activity of the brain cortex, with submillimeter spatial and subsecond temporal resolution, would open up enticing scenarios in addressing basic issues on the relation between different structural components of brain signal processing, and in providing an operational pathway to interaction with (dis)functional signal patterns. In the present article, we report the description of a simple system that allows the detection of the minute changes that occur in the optical backscattering of the cortex as a metabolic response to external stimuli. The simplicity of the system is compatible with scalability to an implantable probe. We validate the system on an animal model, and we propose an algorithm to extract meaningful data from the measured signal. We thus show the detection of individual haemodynamic cortical responses to individual stimulation events, and we provide operational considerations on the signal structure.