Imaging localized neuronal activity at fast time scales through biomechanics

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Patz S, Fovargue D, Schregel K, Nazari N, Palotai M, Barbone PE, Fabry B, Hammers A, Holm S, Kozerke S, Nordsletten D, Sinkus R
Journal: Science Advances
Publication year: 2019
Volume: 5
Journal issue: 4
ISSN: 2375-2548


Mapping neuronal activity noninvasively is a key requirement for in vivo human neuroscience. Traditional functional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, with a temporal response of seconds, cannot measure high-level cognitive processes evolving in tens of milliseconds. To advance neuroscience, imaging of fast neuronal processes is required. Here, we show in vivo imaging of fast neuronal processes at 100-ms time scales by quantifying brain biomechanics noninvasively with MR elastography. We show brain stiffness changes of ∼10% in response to repetitive electric stimulation of a mouse hind paw over two orders of frequency from 0.1 to 10 Hz. We demonstrate in mice that regional patterns of stiffness modulation are synchronous with stimulus switching and evolve with frequency. For very fast stimuli (100 ms), mechanical changes are mainly located in the thalamus, the relay location for afferent cortical input. Our results demonstrate a new methodology for noninvasively tracking brain functional activity at high speed.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Fabry, Ben Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Biophysik

External institutions with authors

Boston University
Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH)
King’s College London
Universität Zürich (UZH)
University of Oslo

How to cite

Patz, S., Fovargue, D., Schregel, K., Nazari, N., Palotai, M., Barbone, P.E.,... Sinkus, R. (2019). Imaging localized neuronal activity at fast time scales through biomechanics. Science Advances, 5(4).

Patz, Samuel, et al. "Imaging localized neuronal activity at fast time scales through biomechanics." Science Advances 5.4 (2019).


Last updated on 2019-23-05 at 14:38