High resolution data analysis strategies for mesoscale human functional MRI at 7 and 9.4 T

Valentin G. Kemper, Federico De Martino, Thomas C. Emmerling, Essa Yacoub, Rainer Goebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

The advent of ultra-high field functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has greatly facilitated submillimeter resolution acquisitions (voxel volume below (1 mm³)), allowing the investigation of cortical columns and cortical depth dependent (i.e. laminar) structures in the human brain. Advanced data analysis techniques are essential to exploit the information in high resolution functional measures. In this article, we use recent, exemplary 9.4 T human functional and anatomical data to review the advantages and disadvantages of (1) pooling high resolution data across regions of interest for cortical depth profile analysis, (2) pooling across cortical depths for mapping patches of cortex while discarding depth-dependent (i.e. columnar) effects, and (3) isotropic sampling without pooling to assess individual voxel's responses. A set of cortical depth meshes may be a solution to sampling information tangentially while keeping correspondence across depths. For quantitative analysis of the spatial organization in fine-grained structures, a cortical grid approach is advantageous. We further extend this general framework by combining it with a previously introduced cortical layer volume-preserving (equi-volume) approach. This framework can readily accommodate the research questions which allow for spatial smoothing within or across layers. We demonstrate and discuss that equi-volume sampling yields a slight advantage over equidistant sampling given the current limitations of fMRI voxel size, participant motion, coregistration and segmentation. Our 9.4 T human anatomical and functional data indicate the advantage over lower fields including 7 T and demonstrate the practical applicability of T2* and T2-weighted fMRI acquisitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-58
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroImage
Volume164
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Scott Schillak (Life Services, LLC), Dr. Benedikt Poser, Dr. Desmond Tse, and Dr. Christopher Wiggins (Scannexus) for technical support, and Faruk Gulban for help with the analysis. This study was supported by European Research Council (ERC) Grant 269853 , European FET Flagship project ‘Human Brain Project’ FP7-ICT-2013-FET-F/604102, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) P41 EB015894 . F.D.M. was funded by NWO VIDI (Grant 864-13-012 ).

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Scott Schillak (Life Services, LLC), Dr. Benedikt Poser, Dr. Desmond Tse, and Dr. Christopher Wiggins (Scannexus) for technical support, and Faruk Gulban for help with the analysis. This study was supported by European Research Council (ERC) Grant 269853, European FET Flagship project ?Human Brain Project? FP7-ICT-2013-FET-F/604102, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) P41 EB015894. F.D.M. was funded by NWO VIDI (Grant 864-13-012).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017

Keywords

  • 7 Tesla
  • 9.4 Tesla
  • Cortical depth sampling
  • Cortical thickness
  • Equi-volume
  • Equidistant
  • High resolution
  • Myelin
  • Ocular dominance
  • Submillimeter functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Visual cortex

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