fNIRS can detect low-frequency hemodynamic oscillations

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Functional near-infrared spectroscopy can detect low-frequency hemodynamic oscillations in the prefrontal cortex during steady-state visual evoked potential-inducing periodic facial expression stimuli presentation.

Brain oscillations are vital to cognitive functions, while disrupted oscillatory activity is linked to various brain disorders. Although high-frequency neural oscillations (> 1 Hz) have been extensively studied in cognition, the neural mechanisms underlying low-frequency hemodynamic oscillations (LFHO) < 1 Hz have not yet been fully explored. One way to examine oscillatory neural dynamics is to use a facial expression (FE) paradigm to induce steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs), which has been used in electroencephalography studies of high-frequency brain oscillation activity. In this study, LFHO during SSVEP-inducing periodic flickering stimuli presentation were inspected using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), in which hemodynamic responses in the prefrontal cortex were recorded while participants were passively viewing dynamic FEs flickering at 0.2 Hz. The fast Fourier analysis results demonstrated that the power exhibited monochronic peaks at 0.2 Hz across all channels, indicating that the periodic events successfully elicited LFHO in the prefrontal cortex. More importantly, measurement of LFHO can effectively distinguish the brain activation difference between different cognitive conditions, with happy FE presentation showing greater LFHO power than neutral FE presentation. These results demonstrate that stimuli flashing at a given frequency can induce LFHO in the prefrontal cortex, which provides new insights into the cognitive mechanisms involved in slow oscillation.

PMID: 33258067 [PubMed]

Vis Comput Ind Biomed Art. 2020 Dec 01;3(1):28

Authors: Wang MY, Yuan A, Zhang J, Xiang Y, Yuan Z