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Journal of the Optical Society of Korea

Journal of the Optical Society of Korea


  • Vol. 13, Iss. 2 — Jun. 25, 2009
  • pp: 272–278

Finite-difference Time-domain Study on Birefringence Changes of the Axon During Neural Activation

Jong-Hwan Lee and Sung-June Kim  »View Author Affiliations

Journal of the Optical Society of Korea, Vol. 13, Issue 2, pp. 272-278 (2009)

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Recently, there has been a growing interest in optical imaging of neural activity because the optical neuroimaging has considerable advantages over conventional imaging. Birefringence of the axon has been reported to change during neural activation, but the neurophysiological origin of the change is still unresolved. This study hypothesizes that the birefringence signal is at least partially attributed to the transient cellular volume change associated with nerve excitation. To examine this hypothesis, we investigated how the intensity of cross-polarized light transmitting through the axon would change as the size of the axon changes. For this purpose, a two-dimensional finite-difference time-domain program was developed with the improvement of the total-field/scattered-field method which reduces numerical noise. The results support our hypothesis in that the computed cross-polarized signals exhibit some agreement with previously-reported birefringence signals.

© 2009 Optical Society of Korea

OCIS Codes
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics and biotechnology
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues
(170.5380) Medical optics and biotechnology : Physiology
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence

Original Manuscript: April 15, 2009
Revised Manuscript: May 25, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: May 25, 2009
Published: June 25, 2009

Jong-Hwan Lee and Sung-June Kim, "Finite-difference Time-domain Study on Birefringence Changes of the Axon During Neural Activation," J. Opt. Soc. Korea 13, 272-278 (2009)

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