Integrated VASO and perfusion contrast: A new tool for laminar functional MRI

Yuhui Chai*, Linqing Li, Larentius Huber, Benedikt A. Poser, Peter A. Bandettini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Web of Science)


Earlier research in cats has shown that both cerebral blood volume (CBV) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) can be used to identify layer-dependent fMRI activation with spatial specificity superior to gradient-echo blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) contrast (Jin and Kim, 2008a). CBF contrast of perfusion fMRI at ultra-high field has not been widely applied in humans to measure laminar activity due to its low sensitivity, while CBV contrast for fMRI using vascular space occupancy (VASO) has been successfully used. However, VASO can be compromised by interference of blood in-flow effects and a temporally limited acquisition window around the blood-nulling time point. Here, we proposed to use DANTE (Delay Alternating with Nutation for Tailored Excitation) pulse trains combined with 3D-EPI to acquire an integrated VASO and perfusion (VAPER) contrast. The signal origin of the VAPER contrast was theoretically evaluated with respect to its CBV and CBF contributions using a four-compartment simulation model. The feasibility of VAPER to measure layer-dependent activity was empirically investigated in human primary motor cortex at 7 ​T. We demonstrated this new tool, with its highly specified functional layer profile, robust reproducibility, and improved sensitivity, to allow investigation of layer-specific cortical functions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116358
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2020


  • Laminar fMRI
  • Cortical layer
  • High-resolution fMRI
  • Vascular space occupancy
  • Perfusion
  • 3 T
  • FMRI
  • BOLD
  • CBV

Cite this