Imaging cortical columns and cortical layers at 7 and 9.4 Tesla: From sensory mapping to cognitive applications

Seminar | July 7 | 1-2:30 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center

 Rainer Goebel, Maastricht University

 Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Ultra-­high magnetic field (UHF) fMRI at 7 Tesla and higher enables measurement of human brain activity with sub-­millimeter spatial resolution allowing to differentiate brain activation at the mesoscopic level of cortical layers and columnar-­like feature clusters. Recent experiments show that it is possible to map known columnar organizations in specialised brain areas (e.g. V1-­V3, A1, hMT, STS/STG) when using UHF fMRI with optimized coils and MR pulse sequences. Furthermore, the separation of activity from upper, middle and lower cortical layer compartments provides the possibility to separate bottom-up from top-­down information flow. We will present several examples of this emerging new field of human “mesoscopic” neuroscience including the read out of the content of conscious perception when perceiving ambiguous moving stimuli and several top‐down effects during expectation, imagery and attention.