Shock-like haemodynamic responses induced in the primary visual cortex by moving visual stimuli
It is shown that recently discovered haemodynamic waves can form shock-like fronts when driven by stimuli that excite the cortex in a patch that moves faster than the haemodynamic wave velocity. If stimuli are chosen in order to induce shock-like behaviour, the resulting blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response is enhanced, thereby improving the signal to noise ratio of measurements made with functional magnetic resonance imaging. A spatio-temporal haemodynamic model is extended to calculate the BOLD response and determine the main properties of waves induced by moving stimuli. From this, the optimal conditions for stimulating shock-like responses are determined, and ways of inducing these responses in experiments are demonstrated in a pilot study.