Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been widely used for imaging brain functions. However, the extent of the fMRI hemodynamic response around the active sites, at submillimeter resolution, remains poorly understood and controversial. With the use of perfusion-based fMRI, we evaluated the hemodynamic response in the cat visual cortex after orientation-specific stimuli. Activation maps obtained by using cerebral blood flow fMRI measurements were predominantly devoid of large draining vein contamination and reproducible at columnar resolution. Stimulus-specific cerebral blood flow responses were spatially localized to individual cortical columns, and columnar layouts were resolved. The periodic spacing of orientation columnar structures was estimated to be 1.1 ± 0.2 mm (n = 14 orientations, five animals), consistent with previous findings. The estimated cerebral blood flow response at full width at half-maximum was 470 μm under single-stimulus conditions without differential subtraction. These results suggest that hemodynamic-based fMRI can indeed be used to map individual functional columns if large-vessel contributions can be minimized or eliminated.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Sep 11 2001|