Optical imaging of functional domains in the cortex of the awake and behaving monkey

Norbert Vnek, Benjamin M. Ramsden, Chou P. Hung, Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic, Anna Wang Roe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


As demonstrated by anatomical and physiological studies, the cerebral cortex consists of groups of cortical modules, each comprising populations of neurons with similar functional properties. This functional modularity exists in both sensory and association neocortices. However, the role of such cortical modules in perceptual and cognitive behavior is unknown. To aid in the examination of this issue we have applied the high spatial resolution optical imaging methodology to the study of awake, behaving animals. In this paper, we report the optical imaging of orientation domains and blob structures, approximately 100-200 μm in size, in visual cortex of the awake and behaving monkey. By overcoming the spatial limitations of other existing imaging methods, optical imaging will permit the study of a wide variety of cortical functions at the columnar level, including motor and cognitive functions traditionally studied with positron-emission tomography or functional MRI techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4057-4060
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 30 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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