A qualitative test of the balloon model for BOLD-based MR signal changes at 3T

Toralf Mildner*, David G. Norris, Christian Schwarzbauer, Christopher J. Wiggins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to adapt the balloon model for BOLD-based MR signal changes to a magnetic field strength of 3T and to examine its validity. The simultaneous measurement of BOLD and diffusion-weighted BOLD responses was performed. The amplitude of the BOLD peak was found to be similar for all subjects when a short visual stimulus of 6 sec was used. The rise-time to the BOLD peak and the shape and depth of the poststimulus undershoot varied significantly. A fit of the experimental BOLD responses was found to be possible by use of parameters within a reasonable physiological range. The relations between these parameters and their influence on the modeled BOLD responses is discussed. A prediction of the balloon model is the occurrence of a BOLD overshoot, i.e., a lag between the changes of the blood volume and the blood flow after the start of the stimulation. Experimental evidence for the existence of a BOLD overshoot is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-899
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • 3Tesla
  • Balloon model
  • BOLD response
  • Diffusion weighting
  • n/a OA procedure


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