Parallel imaging in the form of multiband radiofrequency excitation, together with reduced k-space coverage in the phase-encode direction, was applied to human gradient echo functional MRI at 7 T for increased volumetric coverage and concurrent high spatial and temporal resolution. Echo planar imaging with simultaneous acquisition of four coronal slices separated by 44mm and simultaneous 4-fold phase-encoding undersampling, resulting in 16-fold acceleration and up to 16-fold maximal aliasing, was investigated. Task/stimulus-induced signal changes and temporal signal behavior under basal conditions were comparable for multiband and standard single-band excitation and longer pulse repetition times. Robust, whole-brain functional mapping at 7 T, with 2 x 2 x 2mm(3) (pulse repetition time 1.25 sec) and 1 x 1 x 2mm(3) (pulse repetition time 1.5 sec) resolutions, covering fields of view of 256 x 256 x 176 mm(3) and 192 x 172 x 176 mm(3), respectively, was demonstrated with current gradient performance.
(c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.