Irradiation of 850-nm laser light changes the neural activities in rat primary visual cortex
Although infrared laser was proven to be an alternative approach for neural stimulation, there is very little known about the neural response to infrared laser irradiation in visual cortex. This study is to investigate the effect of near-infrared laser irradiation on neural activities at the cortex level. A 850-nm pigtailed diode laser was applied to stimulate the rat primary visual cortex while the horizontal black and white stripe pattern was used as standard visual stimulation to evoke visual-evoked potential (VEP). Both amplitude and latency of VEP P100 was measured with or without infrared pulse stimulation applied in rat primary visual cortex. Paired t test and one-way analysis of variance were used to evaluate the impact of infrared irradiation and its pulse width on the amplitudes and latencies of P100, respectively. The results from our preliminary study revealed that, the pulsed near-infrared laser depressed the VEP amplitude and shortened the latency of P100; with the increment of pulse width of infrared irradiation, further decline of VEP amplitude and much shortened latency of P100 were observed. The present work suggests that near-infrared laser irradiation can alter the neural activities in primary visual cortex transiently, and could provide a novel contactless artificial neural stimulus to brain cortex with high spatial selectivity.
KeywordsNear-infrared laser Neural stimulation Laser diode Visual-evoked potential (VEP) Primary visual cortex
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