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Abstract #5255

Macrovascular contributions to high-resolution balanced SSFP- and GE-EPI-based fMRI at 9.4T evaluated using surface-based cortical depth analyses in human visual cortex

Jonathan R. Polimeni1,2,3, Natalia Zaretskaya4,5,6, Johannes Stelzer7, Jonas Bause7, Philipp Ehses7,8, Lawrence L. Wald1,2,3, and Klaus Scheffler7,8

1Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, United States, 2Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States, 3Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States, 4Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, 5Department of Psychology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, 6Department of Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 7High-Field MR Center, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 8Department for Biomedical Magnetic Resonance, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

Several strategies have been proposed for maximizing neuronal specificity of fMRI by utilizing pulse sequences that are primarily sensitive to signal changes within microvasculature. Here we compare the microvascular sensitivity of high-resolution balanced SSFP and gradient-echo EPI at 9.4T using cortical depth analyses within human visual cortex. Because of the large draining vessels lying along the pial surface, the behavior of fMRI signals as a function of cortical depth can provide helpful insights into the vascular contributions. Our preliminary analyses suggest that, for the protocols used here, both balanced SSFP and EPI show similar cortical depth profiles of BOLD responses.

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