In rodent olfactory bulb (OB), optical intrinsic signal imaging (OISI) is commonly used to investigate functional maps to odorant stimulations. However, in such studies, the spatial resolution in depth direction (z-axis) is lost because of the integration of light from different depths. To solve this problem, we propose functional optical coherence tomography (fOCT) with periodic stimulation and continuous recording. In fOCT experiments of in vivo rat OB, propionic acid and m-cresol were used as odor stimulus presentations. Such a periodic stimulation enabled us to detect the specific odorresponses from highly scattering brain tissue. Swept source OCT operating at a wavelength of 1334 nm and a frequency of 20 kHz, was employed with theoretical depth and lateral resolutions of 6.7 μm and 15.4 μm, respectively. We succeeded in visualizing 2D cross sectional fOCT map across the neural layer structure of OCT in vivo. The detected fOCT signals corresponded to a few glomeruli of the medial and lateral parts of dorsal OB. We also obtained 3D fOCT maps, which upon integration across z-axis agreed well with OISI results. We expect such an approach to open a window for investigating and possibly addressing toward inter/intra-layer connections at high resolutions in the future.
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