Martinez de Paz, J.M., and Macé, E.
Neuroimage, 2021, 245, 118722.
Functional ultrasound imaging: A useful tool for functional connectomics?
Functional ultrasound (fUS) is a hemodynamic-based functional neuroimaging technique, primarily used in animal models, that combines a high spatiotemporal resolution, a large field of view, and compatibility with behavior. These assets make fUS especially suited to interrogating brain activity at the systems level. In this review, we describe the technical capabilities offered by fUS and discuss how this technique can contribute to the field of functional connectomics. First, fUS can be used to study intrinsic functional connectivity, namely patterns of correlated activity between brain regions. In this area, fUS has made the most impact by following connectivity changes in disease models, across behavioral states, or dynamically. Second, fUS can also be used to map brain-wide pathways associated with an external event. For example, fUS has helped obtain finer descriptions of several sensory systems, and uncover new pathways implicated in specific behaviors. Additionally, combining fUS with direct circuit manipulations such as optogenetics is an attractive way to map the brain-wide connections of defined neuronal populations. Finally, technological improvements and the application of new analytical tools promise to boost fUS capabilities. As brain coverage and the range of behavioral contexts that can be addressed with fUS keep on increasing, we believe that fUS-guided connectomics will only expand in the future. In this regard, we consider the incorporation of fUS into multimodal studies combining diverse techniques and behavioral tasks to be the most promising research avenue.