Intrinsic Optical Imaging for the Mapping of Cortical Responses

Various imaging techniques exist for recording neuronal responses along a range of spatial and temporal scales. One such of these methods is Intrinsic Optical Imaging (IOI), a minimally invasive technique for visualizing the activity of cortical neurons at fine spatial ranges (~50um) at submillisecond timescale resolution. IOI employs fiber-optic light guides to variably excite cortical tissue while digital images are simultaneously captured. Stimulation-evoked neuronal activity induces fluctuations in the oxygenation of hemoglobin, resulting in alterations in the emission spectrum of the tissue that can be captured by the IOI setup. Combined with peripheral stimulation, IOI technology allows for a precise, functional mapping of the cortical surface.

Your task is to help set up the IOI system. Together with members of the lab, you will work to combine the stereo-microscope, CCD camera, LED light sources, and other physical components to achieve a mechanically stable, functioning IOI system. Once the setup is stably established, its functionality will be verified during in-vivo experiments to test for system performance.

1. Grinvald, A., Lieke, E., Frostig, R.D., Gilbert, C.D. & Wiesel, T.N. Functional architecture of cortex revealed by optical imaging of intrinsic signals. Nature 324, 361–364 (1986).
2. Grinvald A. et al. (1999) In-vivo Optical Imaging of Cortical Architecture and Dynamics. In: Windhorst U., Johansson H. (eds) Modern Techniques in Neuroscience Research. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg


Some familiarity with optics and microscopes is helpful, but not necessary. As this task extends over multiple disciplines, a motivation to discover basic principles of neuroscience, imaging techniques, and signal processing is important. The project will be conducted in an established neuroscience laboratory encompassing a wide range of specialties spanning experimental, computational, and engineering fields.


Gwendolyn English, englishg (at)
Dr. Wolfger von der Behrens, wolfger (at)

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