Whole brain high-resolution functional imaging at ultra high magnetic fields: An application to the analysis of resting state networks

Federico De Martino, Fabrizio Esposito, Pierre Francois van de Moortele, Noam Harel, Elia Formisano, Rainer Goebel, Kamil Ugurbil, Essa Yacoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Whole-brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allows measuring brain dynamics at all brain regions simultaneously and is widely used in research and clinical neuroscience to observe both stimulus-related and spontaneous neural activity.Ultrahigh magnetic fields (7. T and above) allow functional imaging with high contrast-to-noise ratios and improved spatial resolution and specificity compared to clinical fields (1.5. T and 3. T). High-resolution 7. T fMRI, however, has been mostly limited to partial brain coverage with previous whole-brain applications sacrificing either the spatial or temporal resolution.Here we present whole-brain high-resolution (1, 1.5 and 2. mm isotropic voxels) resting state fMRI at 7. T, obtained with parallel imaging technology, without sacrificing temporal resolution or brain coverage, over what is typically achieved at 3. T with several fold larger voxel volumes.Using Independent Component Analysis we demonstrate that high resolution images acquired at 7. T retain enough sensitivity for the reliable extraction of typical resting state brain networks and illustrate the added value of obtaining both single subject and group maps, using cortex based alignment, of the default-mode network (DMN) with high native resolution. By comparing results between multiple resolutions we show that smaller voxels volumes (1 and 1.5. mm isotropic) data result in reduced partial volume effects, permitting separations of detailed spatial features within the DMN patterns as well as a better function to anatomy correspondence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1031-1044
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Work supported in part by the Human Connectome Project ( 1U54MH091657-01 ) from the 16 NIH Institutes and Centers that Support the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, and NIH grants, R01 EB000331, R01 EB008645, P30 NS057091, and P41 RR08079. The 7 T magnet purchase was funded in part by NSF DBI-9907842 and NIH S10 RR1395 and the KECK Foundation.


  • Independent component analysis
  • Resting state
  • Ultra high field functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Whole brain fMRI


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