May 02, 2011

Mapping the brain's blood vessels: David Kleinfeld

David Kleinfeld

David Kleinfeld is a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of California, San Diego. In this month’s episode, Dr. Kleinfeld talks about the different, important questions his lab is addressing.

One part of his lab is trying to understand how the brain uses sensory input to process information about the environment. The lab uses the vibrissa (whisker) system in rats and mice to understand how they sense and navigate the world. Next, Dr. Kleinfeld discusses how changes in blood flow in the brain can be used to visualize electrical activity evoked by different stimuli. The tools his lab let them see blood flow at the level of a single blood vessel. Using these optical techniques, they can map every blood vessel and brain cell within sensory cortex. Creating a complicated “road map” of the brain can eventually be used to help interpret results from imaging techniques such as fMRI used in humans.

More on the Kleinfeld Lab's research

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