ABSTRACT Awake monkey fMRI and diffusion MRI combined with conventional neuroscience techniques has the potential to study the structural and functional neural network. The majority of monkey fMRI and diffusion MRI experiments are performed with single coils which suffer from severe EPI distortions which limit resolution. By constructing phased array coils for monkey MRI studies, gains in SNR and anatomical accuracy (i.e., reduction of EPI distortions) can be achieved using parallel imaging. The major challenges associated with constructing phased array coils for monkeys are the variation in head size and space constraints. Here, we apply phased array technology to a 4-channel phased array coil capable of improving the resolution and image quality of full brain awake monkey fMRI and diffusion MRI experiments. The phased array coil is that can adapt to different rhesus monkey head sizes (ages 4-8) and fits in the limited space provided by monkey stereotactic equipment and provides SNR gains in primary visual cortex and anatomical accuracy in conjunction with parallel imaging and improves resolution in fMRI experiments by a factor of 2 (1.25 mm to 1.0 mm isotropic) and diffusion MRI experiments by a factor of 4 (1.5 mm to 0.9 mm isotropic).
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