A system for the measurement of brain activity in conscious monkeys by positron emission tomography (PET) was established in the present study. The signal/noise ratio was maximal around 40 s for data acquisition in the PET scan with 15O-labeled water. When the monkey was stimulated by vibration and subtraction images of the data sets from regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) changes in paired stimulation and control were superimposed on magnetic resonance images obtained from the same specimens, a somatotopic map corresponding to the sites stimulated was clearly demonstrated. Visual stimulation with a photic stimulator activated the corresponding regions of the primary visual cortex. Comparison of the activated sites and extents under the conscious state with those under anesthesia assured that the study is controllable; there was little unpredictable activation due to unlimited subject movement or to psychological effects.
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