Passband balanced-steady-state free precession (b-SSFP) fMRI is a recently developed method that utilizes the passband (flat portion) of the b-SSFP off-resonance response to measure MR signal changes elicited by changes in tissue oxygenation following increases in neuronal activity. Rapid refocusing and short readout durations of b-SSFP, combined with the relatively large flat portion of the b-SSFP off-resonance spectrum allows distortion-free full-brain coverage with only two acquisitions. This allows for high-resolution functional imaging, without the spatial distortion frequently encountered in conventional high-resolution functional images. Finally, the 3D imaging compatibility of the b-SSFP acquisitions permits isotropic-voxel-size high-resolution acquisitions. In this study we address some of the major technical issues involved in obtaining passband b-SSFP-based functional brain images with practical imaging parameters and demonstrate the advantages through breath-holding and visual field mapping experiments. Magn Reson Med, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.