Functional connectivity analyses of fMRI data can provide a wealth of information on the brain functional organization and have been widely applied to the study of the human brain. More recently, these methods have been extended to preclinical species, thus providing a powerful translational tool. Here, we review methods and findings of functional connectivity studies in the rat. More specifically, we focus on correlation analysis of pharmacological MRI (phMRI) responses, an approach that has enabled mapping the patterns of connectivity underlying major neurotransmitter systems in vivo. We also review the use of novel statistical approaches based on a network representation of the functional connectivity and their application to the study of the rat brain functional architecture.
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