Significance: Diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) is an emerging noninvasive, diffuse optical modality that purportedly enables direct measurements of microvasculature blood flow. Functional optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) can resolve blood flow in vessels as fine as capillaries and thus has the capability to validate key attributes of the DCS signal.
Aim: To characterize activity in cortical vasculature within the spatial volume that is probed by DCS and to identify populations of blood vessels that are most representative of the DCS signals.
Approach: We performed simultaneous measurements of somatosensory-evoked cerebral blood flow in mice in vivo using both DCS and OCT-A.
Results: We resolved sensory-evoked blood flow in the somatosensory cortex with both modalities. Vessels with diameters smaller than 10 μm featured higher peak flow rates during the initial poststimulus positive increase in flow, whereas larger vessels exhibited considerably larger magnitude of the subsequent undershoot. The simultaneously recorded DCS waveforms correlated most highly with flow in the smallest vessels, yet featured a more prominent undershoot.
Conclusions: Our direct, multiscale, multimodal cross-validation measurements of functional blood flow support the assertion that the DCS signal preferentially represents flow in microvasculature. The significantly greater undershoot in DCS, however, suggests a more spatially complex relationship to flow in cortical vasculature during functional activation.
Significance: Speech processing tasks can be used to assess the integrity and health of many functional and structural aspects of the brain. Despite the potential merits of such behavioral tests as clinical assessment tools, however, the underlying neural substrates remain relatively unclear.
Aim: We aimed to obtain a more in-depth portrait of hemispheric asymmetry during dichotic listening tasks at the level of the prefrontal cortex, where prior studies have reported inconsistent results.
Approach: To avoid central confounds that limited previous studies, we used diffuse correlation spectroscopy to optically monitor cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during dichotic listening tasks in human subjects.
Results: We found that dichotic listening tasks elicited hemispheric asymmetries in both amplitude as well as kinetics. When listening task blocks were repeated, there was an accommodative reduction in the response amplitude of the left, but not the right hemisphere.
Conclusions: These heretofore unobserved trends depict a more nuanced portrait of the functional asymmetry that has been observed previously. To our knowledge, these results additionally represent the first direct measurements of CBF during a speech processing task recommended by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for diagnosing auditory processing disorders.
Following acute traumatic brain injury (TBI), timely transport to a hospital can significantly improve the prognosis for recovery. There is, however, a dearth of quantitative biomarkers for brain injury that can be rapidly acquired and interpreted in active, field environments in which TBIs are frequently incurred. We explored potential functional indicators for TBI that can be noninvasively obtained through portable detection modalities, namely optical and electrophysiological approaches. By combining diffuse correlation spectroscopy with colocalized electrophysiological measurements in a mouse model of TBI, we observed concomitant alterations in sensory-evoked cerebral blood flow (CBF) and electrical potentials following controlled cortical impact. Injury acutely reduced the peak amplitude of both electrophysiological and CBF responses, which mostly recovered to baseline values within 30 min, and intertrial variability for these parameters was also acutely altered. Notably, the postinjury dynamics of the CBF overshoot and undershoot amplitudes differed significantly; whereas the amplitude of the initial peak of stimulus-evoked CBF recovered relatively rapidly, the ensuing undershoot did not appear to recover within 30 min of injury. Additionally, acute injury induced apparent low-frequency oscillatory behavior in CBF (<1 Hz). Histological assessment indicated that these physiological alterations were not associated with any major, persisting anatomical changes. Several time-domain features of the blood flow and electrophysiological responses showed strong correlations in recovery kinetics. Overall, our results reveal an array of stereotyped, injury-induced alterations in electrophysiological and hemodynamic responses that can be rapidly obtained using a combination of portable detection techniques.