Integration of Spatial Information Increases Reproducibility in fNIRS

Integration of Spatial Information Increases Reproducibility in Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy.

As functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is developed as a neuroimaging technique and becomes an option to study a variety of populations and tasks, the reproducibility of the fNIRS signal is still subject of debate. By performing test-retest protocols over different functional tasks, several studies agree that the fNIRS signal is reproducible over group analysis, but the inter-subject and within-subject reproducibility is poor. The high variability at the first statistical level is often attributed to global systemic physiology. In the present work, we revisited the reproducibility of the fNIRS signal during a finger-tapping task across multiple sessions on the same and different days. We expanded on previous studies by hypothesizing that the lack of spatial information of the optodes contributes to the low reproducibility in fNIRS, and we incorporated a real-time neuronavigation protocol to provide accurate cortical localization of the optodes. Our proposed approach was validated in 10 healthy volunteers, and our results suggest that the addition of neuronavigation can increase the within-subject reproducibility of the fNIRS data, particularly in the region of interest. Unlike traditional approaches to positioning the optodes, in which low intra-subject reproducibility has been found, we were able to obtain consistent and robust activation of the contralateral primary motor cortex at the intra-subject level using a neuronavigation protocol. Overall, our findings support the hypothesis that at least part of the variability in fNIRS cannot be only attributed to global systemic physiology. The use of neuronavigation to guide probe positioning, as proposed in this work, has impacts to longitudinal protocols performed with fNIRS.

PMID: 32848543 [PubMed]

Front Neurosci. 2020;14:746

Authors: Novi SL, Forero EJ, Rubianes Silva JAI, de Souza NGSR, Martins GG, Quiroga A, Wu ST, Mesquita RC




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