A critical assessment of data quality and venous effects in ultra-high-resolution fMRI

0 views • Nov 1, 2021


Add New Author

Advances in hardware, pulse sequences, and reconstruction techniques have made it possible to perform functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at sub-millimeter resolution while maintaining high spatial coverage and acceptable signal-to-noise ratio. Here, we examine whether ultra-high-resolution fMRI can be exploited for routine use in neuroscience research. We conducted fMRI in human visual cortex during a simple event-related visual experiment (7T, gradient-echo EPI, 0.8-mm isotropic voxels, 2.2-s sampling rate, 84 slices), and developed analysis and visualization tools to assess the quality of the data. We make three main observations. First, we find that the acquired fMRI images, combined with appropriate surface-based processing, provide reliable and accurate measurements of fine-scale blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) activity patterns. Second, we show that the highly folded structure of cortex causes substantial biases on spatial resolution and data visualization. Third, we examine the well-recognized issue of venous contributions to fMRI signals. In a systematic assessment of large sections of cortex measured at a fine scale, we show that time-averaged T2*-weighted EPI intensity is a simple, robust marker of venous effects. These venous effects are unevenly distributed across cortex, are more pronounced in gyri and outer cortical depths, and are, to a certain degree, in consistent locations across subjects relative to cortical folding. Furthermore, we show that these venous effects are strongly correlated with BOLD responses evoked by the experiment. We conclude that ultra-high-resolution fMRI can provide robust information about fine-scale BOLD activity patterns, but special care must be exercised in visualizing and interpreting these patterns, especially with regards to the confounding influence of the brain's vasculature. To help translate these methodological findings to neuroscience research, we provide practical suggestions for both high-resolution and standard-resolution fMRI studies.

Cortical Depth
Cortical Depth 1 Project
Ultra High Field Mri
Ultra High Field Mri 1 Project
Cortical Curvature
Cortical Curvature 1 Project
Neuroscience 179 Projects
Bold Signal
Bold Signal 1 Project
Vasculature 2 Projects
Veins 2 Projects