Bellingham, WA (PRWEB) July 29, 2014

The advanced optical methods and applications for imaging and manipulation of the brain that are driving a revolution in the neurosciences were the inspiration behind ‘Neurophotonics,’ a new peer-reviewed journal published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

The first issue coincides with the launch of the BRAIN Initiative in the United States, and a special section features articles that lay out a vision for and provide examples of the impact that optics and photonics will have on advancing our understanding of how the brain works. The journal began publication in May, and all articles will be freely available online through 2015.

SPIE Member David Boas, a professor in radiology at Harvard Medical School and a physicist at Massachusetts General Hospital, is the journal’s editor-in-chief.

“ ‘Neurophotonics’ provides a highly visible focal point to facilitate and accelerate the rapidly expanding impact of this discipline,” Boas said. “A key goal is to foster a greater awareness and interaction among the photonics, neuroscience, and clinical communities that reflect the diversity of the discipline.”

Papers will cover topics such as functional near-infrared spectroscopy, optogenetics, photoacoustics, optical coherence tomography, laser speckle contrast imaging, neural stimulation, energy metabolism, Alzheimer’s disease, and calcium dynamics. Among articles in the first issue:

In “Programmable wireless light-emitting diode stimulator for chronic stimulation of optogenetic molecules in freely moving mice,” Mitsuhiro Hashimoto and co-authors describe the development of a miniature, multicode, multiband, and programmable LED stimulator for wireless control of optogenetic experiments. Fixed to the skull of a mouse, the device enabled researchers to stimulate the brain utilizing directional photopulse patterns that essentially steer the mouse in the direction of the photostimulation.
In “Photoacoustic brain imaging: from microscopic to macroscopic scales,” Junjie Yao and Lihong Wang present four state-of-the-art photoacoustic tomography techniques for brain imaging and their implications for furthering our understanding of the way the brain works. When used on mice and rats, these noninvasive techniques display which regions of the brain are active based on certain specific stimuli to a staggering degree of accuracy and consistency.
Alejandro San Martín and co-authors demonstrate in “Single-cell imaging tools for brain energy metabolism: a review” that metabolism not only makes up a large part of what cells are, but is also involved in synaptic remodeling, memory, and cognition. There is a need for new technologies such as genetically encoded nanosensors that can illuminate the processes by which metabolic modules interact.
Alexander Lin and co-authors show in “Optical imaging in an Alzheimer’s mouse model reveals amyloid-β-dependent vascular impairment” how they utilized multiple new brain imaging technologies to examine the appearance and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Results demonstrated that the amyloid-β protein may contribute to oxygen deficiency in the brain by reducing vessel density and volume.
With thrombolysis being the only approved treatment for ischemic stroke, Lun-De Liao and co-authors sought new ways to avoid the side effects of bleeding and open a wider treatment window. The team developed a method of bilateral peripheral electrical stimulation, discussed in “Improving neurovascular outcomes with bilateral forepaw stimulation in a rat photothrombotic ischemic stroke model.”
In “Diffuse correlation spectroscopy for measurements of cerebral blood flow: future prospects,” Erin Buckley and co-authors enumerate the advantages and limitations of diffuse correlation spectroscopy, a new technique to measure cortical cerebral blood flow. Buckley and others demonstrate both current and future applications of this optical modality such as hemodynamics and ischemic stroke study.
Masako Nagashima and co-authors studied the use of functional near-infrared spectroscopy in exploring the neural substrate for methylphenidate effects on attentional control in school-aged children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, reported in “Neuropharmacological effect of methylphenidate on attention network in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder during oddball paradigms as assessed using functional near-infrared spectroscopy.”
James Goodwin and co-authors determined using functional near-infrared spectroscopy that closer regression channels (6 mm as opposed to 13 mm) ought to be used for optimal removal of superficial hemodynamics in NIRS signals from the adult brain. The results can be read in “Sport-channel functional near-infrared spectroscopy regressions improve when source-detector separation is reduced.”
Upcoming special sections will focus on causal control of biological systems with light and light microscopy of connectivity. In addition, a special section honoring neurophotonics pioneer Lawrence Cohen is being organized for the July 2015 issue.

‘Neurophotonics’ initially will be printed quarterly, increasing in frequency as the journal grows, with each article published online in the SPIE Digital Library upon approval.

About SPIE:

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 256,000 constituents from approximately 155 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided $ 3.2 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2013.

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