In agreement with optical imaging studies, previous fMRI studies have reported an initial decrease (i.e. the initial dip) in the BOLD response, which is believed to arise from an increase in oxygen consumption and to be mostly microvascular. To date, experimental studies of the initial dip in humans have been performed at fields up to 4 T, with relatively low spatial resolution. Because the sensitivity to microvascular contribution is increased at high magnetic fields, the present study investigated the initial dip at 7 T. In addition, to reduce the partial volume effect, the study is conducted at a high spatial resolution. The initial dip was detected in all subjects studied and was found to reside mostly in the gray matter. The relative amplitude of the early response was found to be 0.6, higher than that at 4 T (0.3) and 1.5 T (0.11). In addition, based on the assumption that the initial dip is a result of increased oxygen utilization, the fractional change in oxygen utilization was estimated to be 40% of that of the fractional change in cerebral blood flow. These results are in agreement with the notion that the initial dip arises from an increase in oxygen consumption.
- Initial dip