Cerebral blood volume sensitive layer-fMRI in the human auditory cortex at 7T: Challenges and capabilities

Lonike K. Faes*, Federico De Martino, Laurentius Renzo Huber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The development of ultra high field fMRI signal readout strategies and contrasts has led to the possibility of imaging the human brain in vivo and non-invasively at increasingly higher spatial resolutions of cortical layers and columns. One emergent layer-fMRI acquisition method with increasing popularity is the cerebral blood volume sensitive sequence named vascular space occupancy (VASO). This approach has been shown to be mostly sensitive to locally-specific changes of laminar microvasculature, without unwanted biases of trans-laminar draining veins. Until now, however, VASO has not been applied in the technically challenging cortical area of the auditory cortex. Here, we describe the main challenges we encountered when developing a VASO protocol for auditory neuroscientific applications and the solutions we have adopted. With the resulting protocol, we present preliminary results of laminar responses to sounds and as a proof of concept for future investigations, we map the topographic representation of frequency preference (tonotopy) in the auditory cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0280855
Number of pages22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2023


  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods
  • Cerebral Blood Volume/physiology
  • Auditory Cortex/diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Mapping/methods
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted/methods
  • Cerebral Cortex/physiology

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