Philipp Ehses1, 2, Juliane Budde1, G. Shajan1, Klaus Scheffler1, 2
1Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tbingen, Germany; 2Dept. for Neuroimaging, University Hospital Tbingen, Tbingen, Germany
SNR benefits allow for significantly higher resolution in BOLD fMRI at ultra-high fields. On the flip side, faster T2* relaxation leads to blurring and increased B0 field inhomogeneities aggravate distortion artifacts in EPI BOLD imaging at higher fields. In this work, a single-echo gradient-echo sequence is presented, that is optimized for high BOLD SNR by combining the concept of echo-shifting with an interleaved slice order. The method is demonstrated in finger tapping experiments on a human 9.4T system. The result is a BOLD activation map with 1mm isotropic resolution virtually free from distortions.