Indexed on: 09 May '06Published on: 09 May '06Published in: Magnetic Resonance Imaging
The advantages of event-related functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and the increasing use of fMRI in cognitive experiments are both driving the development of techniques that allow images sensitive to the blood oxygen level-dependent effect to be acquired at ever-higher temporal resolution. Here, we present a technique based on the use of echo shifting (ES) in conjunction with a multislice (MS) echo planar imaging (EPI) readout, which allows T2*-weighted images to be generated with a repetition time per slice that is less than the echo time (TE). Using this ES-MS-EPI approach, it is shown that images with a TE of 40 ms can be acquired with an acquisition time per slice of only 27 ms. The utility of the MS-ES-EPI sequence is demonstrated in a visual-motor, event-related fMRI study in which nine-slice image volumes are acquired continuously at a rate of 4.1 Hz. The sequence is shown to produce reliable activation associated with both visual stimuli and motor actions.