December 2023
Volume 23, Issue 15
Open Access
Optica Fall Vision Meeting Abstract  |   December 2023
Poster Session I: Noninvasive neuromodulation of subcortical visual pathways with transcranial focused ultrasound
Author Affiliations
  • Ryan Ash
    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
  • Morteza Mohammadjavadi
    Department of Radiology, Stanford University
  • Kim Butts Pauly
    Department of Radiology, Stanford University
  • Anthony Norcia
    Department of Psychology, Stanford University
Journal of Vision December 2023, Vol.23, 23. doi:
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      Ryan Ash, Morteza Mohammadjavadi, Kim Butts Pauly, Anthony Norcia; Poster Session I: Noninvasive neuromodulation of subcortical visual pathways with transcranial focused ultrasound. Journal of Vision 2023;23(15):23.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Transcranial ultrasound stimulation (TUS) is an emerging tool to noninvasively modulate neural activity in deep brain areas. In preparation for our first in-human TUS studies, we targeted TUS to the lateral geniculate nucleus (visual thalamus) in a large mammal (sheep). Full-field light flash stimuli were presented with or without concomitant TUS in randomly interleaved trials. Similar to what has previously observed by Fry et al (Nature 1959) in cats, EEG visual-evoked potentials (VEPs) were reversibly suppressed by TUS to the LGN. No changes in VEPs were observed in sheep who received sham-TUS to a control site in the basal ganglia, ruling out potential transducer auditory-somatosensory confounds. Magnetic resonance acoustic radiation force imaging (MR-ARFI), a technique to measure the ultrasound focus in situ, showed a focal volume of microscopic displacement at the expected target. Excitingly, MR-ARFI predicted the suppressive effect on VEPs in individual subjects, suggesting that MR-ARFI can be used to confirm TUS targeting and estimate neurophysiological impact. We are now translating this paradigm into human, targeting TUS to the LGN while participants perform a contrast detection task with EEG recording of steady-state VEPs. MR-ARFI will be measured to evaluate targeting and estimate TUS dosage in each participant. This work provides the foundation for a dissection of the roles of different subcortical nuclei in different aspects of human vision.

 Funding: Funding: None

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