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Keywords:

  • high-resolution;
  • functional MRI;
  • echo-planar imaging;
  • three-dimensional;
  • two-dimensional;
  • physiological noise

Abstract

High-resolution functional MRI (fMRI) offers unique possibilities for studying human functional neuroanatomy. Although high-resolution fMRI has proven its potential at 7 T, most fMRI studies are still performed at rather low spatial resolution at 3 T. We optimized and compared single-shot two-dimensional echo-planar imaging (EPI) and multishot three-dimensional EPI high-resolution fMRI protocols. We extended image-based physiological noise correction from two-dimensional EPI to multishot three-dimensional EPI. The functional sensitivity of both acquisition schemes was assessed in a visual fMRI experiment. The physiological noise correction increased the sensitivity significantly, can be easily applied, and requires simple recordings of pulse and respiration only. The combination of three-dimensional EPI with physiological noise correction provides exceptional sensitivity for 1.5 mm high-resolution fMRI at 3 T, increasing the temporal signal-to-noise ratio by more than 25% compared to two-dimensional EPI. Magn Reson Med, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.