Whole-brain studies of spontaneous behavior in head-fixed rats enabled by zero echo time MB-SWIFT fMRI

Jaakko Paasonen, Petteri Stenroos, Hanne Laakso, Tiina Pirttimäki, Ekaterina Paasonen, Raimo A. Salo, Heikki Tanila, Djaudat Idiyatullin, Michael Garwood, Shalom Michaeli, Silvia Mangia, Olli Gröhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the link between the brain activity and behavior is a key challenge in modern neuroscience. Behavioral neuroscience, however, lacks tools to record whole-brain activity in complex behavioral settings. Here we demonstrate that a novel Multi-Band SWeep Imaging with Fourier Transformation (MB-SWIFT) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) approach enables whole-brain studies in spontaneously behaving head-fixed rats. First, we show anatomically relevant functional parcellation. Second, we show sensory, motor, exploration, and stress-related brain activity in relevant networks during corresponding spontaneous behavior. Third, we show odor-induced activation of olfactory system with high correlation between the fMRI and behavioral responses. We conclude that the applied methodology enables novel behavioral study designs in rodents focusing on tasks, cognition, emotions, physical exercise, and social interaction. Importantly, novel zero echo time and large bandwidth approaches, such as MB-SWIFT, can be applied for human behavioral studies, allowing more freedom as body movement is dramatically less restricting factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118924
StatePublished - Apr 15 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health grants U01-NS103569-01 and P41-EB027061 , and Jane & Aatos Erkko Foundation .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • Awake
  • Behavior
  • Functional connectivity
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Rats

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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