A method to encode multiple two-dimensional Fourier transform (2D FT) images within a single echo train is presented. This new method, simultaneous echo refocusing (SER), is a departure from prior echo planar image (EPI) sequences which use repeated single-shot echo trains for multislice imaging. SER simultaneously acquires multiple slices in a single-shot echo train utilizing a shared refocusing process. The SER technique acquires data faster than conventional multislice EPI since it uses fewer gradient switchings and fewer preparation pulses such as diffusion gradients. SER introduces a new capability to simultaneously record multiple spatially separated sources of physiologic information in subsecond image acquisitions, which enables several applications that are dependent on temporal coherence in MRI data including velocity vector field mapping and brain activation mapping.