Magnitude and phase behavior of multiresolution BOLD signal

Zikuan Chen, Vince D. Calhoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


High spatial resolution functional MRI (fMRI) provides a more precise estimate of brain activity than low resolution fMRI. The magnitude and phase parts of the blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signals are impacted differently by changes in the scan resolution. In this article, we report on a numerical simulation to show the impact of spatial resolution upon the complex-valued BOLD signal in terms of magnitude and phase variation. We generate realistic capillary networks in cortex voxels, calculate the BOLD-induced magnetic field disturbance and the complex BOLD signals for the voxel and its subvoxels, and thereby characterize the magnitude and phase behaviors across multiple grid resolutions. Our results show that 1) at higher spatial resolution there is greater spatial variation in the phase of the BOLD signal as compared to its magnitude; 2) the spatial variation of the phase signal monotonically increases with respect to spatial resolution while for the magnitude the spatial variation may reach a maximum at some resolution level; 3) voxels containing large capillaries have higher phase spatial variation than those with smaller capillaries; and 4) the amplitude spatial variation at a resolution level increases with respect to relaxation time whereas the phase variation is generally unaffected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-145
Number of pages17
JournalConcepts in Magnetic Resonance Part B: Magnetic Resonance Engineering
Volume37 B
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • BOLD signal
  • BOLD simulation
  • Computational fMRI
  • Contrast
  • Gridel
  • High spatial resolution
  • Magnitude
  • Phase
  • Voxel subdivision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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