Brain Topography

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 62–65 | Cite as

Assessing the Spatial Precision of SE and GE-BOLD Contrast at 7 Tesla

  • Rosa M. Sanchez Panchuelo
  • Denis Schluppeck
  • Jack Harmer
  • Richard Bowtell
  • Susan Francis
Brief Communication


Spin echo (SE) EPI offers an alternative to standard gradient echo (GE) EPI for functional MRI. SE-EPI offers improved spatial specificity, since signal changes originate from the microvasculature, but its lower functional sensitivity has limited the usage of this sequence in fMRI experiments. Differential fMRI paradigms, in which two closely matched stimulus conditions are used, can suppress the contribution from veins, thus also offering improved spatial specificity compared to conventional block or event-related designs with long “rest” periods. In this study, we employed a differential fMRI paradigm to stimulate bands of primary visual cortex with pre-defined widths by using visual stimuli comprised of complementary rings of contrast-reversing checkerboard patterns (8 Hz). This paradigm was used to investigate the spatial specificity of GE and SE-BOLD contrast at 7T. Results show that the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) is larger for GE-EPI data than for the SE-EPI data for band widths in the range 1.7–6.6 mm, however as the width of the band decreases the CNR for GE and SE sequences converges. These results suggest that when using a differential mapping paradigm, GE-BOLD contrast is better for studying functional features that are larger than ~1.5 mm in size.


fMRI SE-BOLD GE-BOLD Specificity 7 Tesla 

Supplementary material

10548_2014_420_MOESM1_ESM.docx (116 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 115 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosa M. Sanchez Panchuelo
    • 1
  • Denis Schluppeck
    • 2
  • Jack Harmer
    • 1
    • 3
  • Richard Bowtell
    • 1
  • Susan Francis
    • 1
  1. 1.Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre, School of Physics and Astronomy, University ParkUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Visual Neuroscience Group, School of PsychologyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  3. 3.Division of Imaging Sciences and Biomedical EngineeringKings College LondonLondonUK

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