In this study, we explored the potential of diffuse optical tomography for brain oximetry and describe our efforts towards imaging hemodynamic changes in rat brains during kainic-acid (KA) induced seizures. Using electrophysiological techniques we first showed that KA induces a pronounced transient hypotension in urethane anesthetized rats that is coincident with seizure activity beginning in ventral and spreading to dorsal hippocampus. We observed sustained increases in vagus and sympathetic activity during generalized limbic seizure activity, which alters blood pressure regulation and heart rhythms. Subsequently, we used optical tomographic methods to study KA induced seizures in anesthetized animals to better define the hemodynamic cerebral vascular response. We observed a lateralized increase in deoxyhemoglobin after KA injection at the time when the blood pressure (BP) was decreased. By contrast, injection of phenylephrine produced a symmetric global increase in total hemoglobin. These findings indicate that our instrument is sensitive to the local hemodynamics, both in response to a global increase in blood pressure (phenylephrine injection) and a lateralized decrease in oxyhemoglobin produced by an asymmetric response to KA; a response that may be critically important for severe autonomic nervous system alterations during seizures. The results of this study provide the impetus for combining complimentary modalities, imaging and electrophysiological, to ultimately gain a better understanding of the underlying physiology of seizure activity in the rat.