Spontaneous activity forms a foundation for odor-evoked activation maps in the rat olfactory bulb

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Abstract

Fluctuations in spontaneous activity have been observed by many neuroimaging techniques, but because these resting-state changes are not evoked by stimuli, it is difficult to determine how they relate to task-evoked activations. We conducted multi-modal neuroimaging scans of the rat olfactory bulb, both with and without odor, to examine interaction between spontaneous and evoked activities. Independent component analysis of spontaneous fluctuations revealed resting-state networks, and odor-evoked changes revealed activation maps. We constructed simulated activation maps using resting-state networks that were highly correlated to evoked activation maps. Simulated activation maps derived by intrinsic optical signal (IOS), which covers the dorsal portion of the glomerular sheet, significantly differentiated one odor's evoked activation map from the other two. To test the hypothesis that spontaneous activity of the entire glomerular sheet is relevant for representing odor-evoked activations, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map the entire glomerular sheet. In contrast to the IOS results, the fMRI-derived simulated activation maps significantly differentiated all three odors' evoked activation maps. Importantly, no evoked activation maps could be significantly differentiated using simulated activation maps produced using phase-randomized resting-state networks. Given that some highly organized resting-state networks did not correlate with any odors' evoked activation maps, we posit that these resting-state networks may characterize evoked activation maps associated with odors not studied. These results emphasize that fluctuations in spontaneous activity form a foundation for active processing, signifying the relevance of resting-state mapping to functional neuroimaging.

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