Neuronal Basis of Non-Invasive Functional Imaging: From Microscopic Neurovascular Dynamics to BOLD fMRI

  • Anna DevorEmail author
  • David A. Boas
  • Gaute T. Einevoll
  • Richard B. Buxton
  • Anders M. Dale
Part of the Advances in Neurobiology book series (NEUROBIOL, volume 4)


With the growing recognition of the complexity of neurovascular coupling, research has focused on the “neurovascular unit”, a close association between neurons, astrocytes and blood vessels. A number of experimental tools have been developed for probing the neurovascular unit in animal models, providing the potential for a much deeper understanding of these fundamental physiological mechanisms. In this chapter, we review some of the available experimental and computational methods and present a multi-level conceptual framework for analyzing and interpreting a wide range of experimental measurements. We then discuss our working hypotheses regarding the regulation of blood flow and neurophysiological correlates of fMRI signals. Finally, we discuss how multimodal imaging, along with valid physiological models, can ultimately be used to obtain quantitative estimates of physiological parameters in health and disease and provide an outlook for the future directions in neurovascular research.


Imaging Neurovascular Neurometabolic CBF CMRO2 LFP CSD MUA fMRI BOLD Optical Microscopy Hemodynamic Neurovascular unit Extracellular potential Forward modeling Laminar population analysis 



The authors would like you to acknowledge Klas M. Pettersen, Henrik Linden, Ivan C. Teng and Peifang Tian for help with making some of the figures, and the financial support from the following NIH grants: R01NS051188, R01NS057198, R21EB009118 (to Anna Devor), R01EB000790 (to Anders M. Dale), R01NS057476 (to David A. Boas) and R01 NS036722 (to Richard R. Buxton) and Research Council of Norway (eVITA, FRIBIOMOL to Gaute T. Einevoll).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Devor
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • David A. Boas
    • 3
  • Gaute T. Einevoll
    • 4
  • Richard B. Buxton
    • 5
  • Anders M. Dale
    • 6
  1. 1.Departments of Neurosciences and RadiologyUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Martinos Center for Biomedical ImagingMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolCharlestownUSA
  3. 3.Martinos Center for Biomedical ImagingMassachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical SchoolCharlestownUSA
  4. 4.Department of Mathematical Sciences and TechnologyNorwegian University of Life SciencesAasNorway
  5. 5.Department of RadiologyUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  6. 6.Departments of Neurosciences and RadiologyUniversity of California San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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