Combining arterial blood contrast with BOLD increases fMRI intracortical contrast

Nikos Priovoulos*, Icaro Agenor Ferreira de Oliveira, Benedikt A. Poser, David G. Norris, Wietske van der Zwaag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BOLD fMRI is widely applied in human neuroscience but is limited in its spatial specificity due to a cortical-depth-dependent venous bias. This reduces its localization specificity with respect to neuronal responses, a disadvantage for neuroscientific research. Here, we modified a submillimeter BOLD protocol to selectively reduce venous and tissue signal and increase cerebral blood volume weighting through a pulsed saturation scheme (dubbed Arterial Blood Contrast) at 7 T. Adding Arterial Blood Contrast on top of the existing BOLD contrast modulated the intracortical contrast. Isolating the Arterial Blood Contrast showed a response free of pial-surface bias. The results suggest that Arterial Blood Contrast can modulate the typical fMRI spatial specificity, with important applications in in-vivo neuroscience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2509-2522
Number of pages14
JournalHuman brain mapping
Issue number6
Early online date10 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D-EPI
  • arterial blood contrast
  • cerebral blood volume
  • layer-dependent fMRI
  • magnetization prepared fMRI
  • ultrahigh field MRI


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