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PROJECT 2: Ultrahigh-Field MR Technology for Functional Imaging


Larry Wald , PhD Project Leader
Fa-Hsuan Lin, PhD Investigator
Ciprian Catana, MD, PhD Investigator
Thomas Witzel , PhD Post-Doctoral Fellow
Jonathan Polimeni, PhD Post-Doctoral Fellow
Kawin Setsompop, PhD Post-Doctoral Fellow
Boris Keil, PhD Post-Doctoral Fellow
Azma Mareyam, MS Engineer

Project Description

The desire to study the structure of brain function at increasingly fine scales has been a major impetus for the development of high field strength MR scanners (3 Tesla and above). A major goal of such efforts is to bring the instrumental resolution of the fMRI experiment to the level where we can explore the biological spatial limits of fMRI. However, as currently practiced with 3mm isotropic resolution, functional imaging cannot even claim to resolve the cortical ribbon. An order of magnitude improvement is needed to readily resolve the next lower level of the cerebral cortex: that of laminar and columnar structures. While considerable progress has been made toward this goal, a major problem plaguing the study of these complexly shaped 3D structures has been the 2D nature of the fMRI acquisition.  The overall goal of this project is therefore to develop 3D isotropic fMRI encoding methods to reduce the spatial resolution of fMRI while avoiding the “french fry” shaped voxels which have plagued studies.

For further information:



Imaging Facilities

Description of the Center's imaging equipment and support labs

Apply to conduct research with the Center as a collaborator or service user



  • Array Sensitivity Metric Software

This reconstruction program runs on the Siemens scanner generating Dicom images of the array SNR computed with the Optimum method (uses noise correlation matix) and Sum of Squares (SoS).  It also generates the noise correlation matrix and G-factors maps.  It uses the method of Peter Kellman for generating SNR in absolute units. E-mail Jonathan Polimeni for download information.

optseq2 is a tool for automatically scheduling events for rapid-presentation event-related (RPER) fMRI experiments (the schedule is the order and timing of events)



  • Practical Issues in Array Construction:
    A Hands-on Course

A one-week course including lectures, hands-on exercises at the bench, construction of an array and on-scanner testing and validation