Infrared neural stimulation with 7T fMRI: A rapid in vivo method for mapping cortical connections of primate amygdala

Sunhang Shi, Augix Guohua Xu, Yun Yun Rui, Xiaotong Zhang, Lizabeth M. Romanski, Katalin M. Gothard, Anna Wang Roe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We have previously shown that INS-fMRI is a rapid method for mapping mesoscale brain networks in the macaque monkey brain. Focal stimulation of single cortical sites led to the activation of connected cortical locations, resulting in a global connectivity map. Here, we have extended this method for mapping brainwide networks following stimulation of single subcortical sites. As a testbed, we focused on the basal nucleus of the amygdala in the macaque monkey. We describe methods to target basal nucleus locations with submillimeter precision, pulse train stimulation methods, and statistical tests for assessing non-random nature of activations. Using these methods, we report that stimulation of precisely targeted loci in the basal nucleus produced sparse and specific activations in the brain. Activations were observed in the insular and sensory association cortices as well as activations in the cingulate cortex, consistent with known anatomical connections. What is new here is that the activations were focal and, in some cases, exhibited shifting topography with millimeter shifts in stimulation site. The precision of the method enables networks mapped from different nearby sites in the basal nucleus to be distinguished. While further investigation is needed to improve the sensitivity of this method, our analyses do support the reproducibility and non-random nature of some of the activations. We suggest that INS-fMRI is a promising method for mapping large-scale cortical and subcortical networks at high spatial resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117818
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • Basal nucleus of the amygdala
  • Connectome
  • Functional tract tracing
  • High spatial resolution
  • Infrared neural stimulation
  • Macaque monkey
  • Mesoscale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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