A cortical vascular model for examining the specificity of the laminar BOLD signal

Irati Markuerkiaga*, Markus Barth, David G. Norris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functionalMRI has been used for inferring layer specific activation in humans. However, intracortical veins perpendicular to the cortical surface are suspected to degrade the laminar specificity as they drain blood fromthemicrovasculature and BOLD signal is carried over fromlower to upper cortical layers on its way to the pial surface. In this work, a vascular model of the cortex is developed to investigate the laminar specificity of the BOLD signal for Spin Echo (SE) and Gradient Echo (GE) following the integrative model presented by Uludağ et al. (2009). The results of the simulation show that the laminar point spread function (PSF) of the BOLD signal presents similar features across all layers. The PSF for SE is highly localisedwhereas for GE there is a flat tail running to the pial surface, with amplitude less than a quarter of the response from the layer itself. Consequently theGE response at any layerwill also contain a contribution accumulated fromall lower layers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-498
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Vascular cortical model
  • Layer specific BOLD fMRI
  • Spatial specificity
  • Gradient echo
  • Spin echo
  • 2023 OA procedure


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