Combining arterial blood contrast with BOLD increases fMRI intracortical contrast

Hum Brain Mapp. 2023 Apr 15;44(6):2509-2522. doi: 10.1002/hbm.26227. Epub 2023 Feb 10.


BOLD fMRI is widely applied in human neuroscience but is limited in its spatial specificity due to a cortical-depth-dependent venous bias. This reduces its localization specificity with respect to neuronal responses, a disadvantage for neuroscientific research. Here, we modified a submillimeter BOLD protocol to selectively reduce venous and tissue signal and increase cerebral blood volume weighting through a pulsed saturation scheme (dubbed Arterial Blood Contrast) at 7 T. Adding Arterial Blood Contrast on top of the existing BOLD contrast modulated the intracortical contrast. Isolating the Arterial Blood Contrast showed a response free of pial-surface bias. The results suggest that Arterial Blood Contrast can modulate the typical fMRI spatial specificity, with important applications in in-vivo neuroscience.

Keywords: 3D-EPI; arterial blood contrast; cerebral blood volume; layer-dependent fMRI; magnetization prepared fMRI; ultrahigh field MRI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods