How blue spots in brainstem modulate whole-brain dynamics
The locus coeruleus (LC) is a set of blue spots found in the brainstem, where the base of the brain connects to the spinal cord. Its neural cells are blue because they make and release a specific chemical signal called noradrenaline – a stress signal released when we experience fear and stress. The EU-funded LC-FMRI project will assess whole-brain responses and functional network reconfiguration. Using ultra-high field functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), it will perform an optogenetic LC stimulation in awake mice to avoid the effects of anaesthesia. The project will lay the foundation for studying how LC modulates whole-brain dynamics in health and disease using fMRI, with high potential for translation to biomedical applications.
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