High resolution SE-fMRI in humans at 3 and 7 T using a motor task

  • Andreas Schäfer
  • Wietske van der Zwaag
  • Susan T. Francis
  • Kay E. Head
  • Penny A. Gowland
  • Richard W. BowtellEmail author
Research Article



The sensitivity of spin echo (SE) experiments to blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) contrast was explored in a study of the same six subjects carried out at 3 and 7 T.

Materials and methods

Multi-slice, single shot, spin echo, echo planar images with a voxel size of 1 ×  1 ×  3 mm3 were acquired at three different echo times, during execution of a simple motor task.


Significant activation was observed at all echo times at both field strengths. Analysis of the fractional signal change as a function of echo time indicated that the change in relaxation rate, ΔR 2, at 7 T was 0.51 ± 0.14 s , which was 1.3 times larger than the value found at 3 T. Measurements of the percentage signal change on activation and temporal signal to noise ratio showed that there was an increase in the BOLD contrast to noise ratio (CNR) at 7 versus 3 T by a factor of 1.9. There was no overlap of areas of significant activation in the SE data acquired at either field strength with the site of large veins.


SE-BOLD CNR in motor cortex was found to increase significantly at 7 T compared with 3 T.


BOLD High resolution High field fMRI Spin echo SE 



Blood oxygenation level dependent


Regional blood volume


Cerebral blood flow


Cerebral metabolic consumption rate


Contrast-to-noise ratio


Signal-to-noise ratio


Echo planar imaging


Functional magnetic resonance imaging


Field of view


Grey matter


Gradient echo


Spin echo


Region of interest


Outer volume suppression


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Copyright information

© ESMRMB 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Schäfer
    • 1
  • Wietske van der Zwaag
    • 1
  • Susan T. Francis
    • 1
  • Kay E. Head
    • 1
  • Penny A. Gowland
    • 1
  • Richard W. Bowtell
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre, School of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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