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Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 Dec 17;7:864. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00864. eCollection 2013.

Identifying and quantifying main components of physiological noise in functional near infrared spectroscopy on the prefrontal cortex.

Author information

  • 1Department of Education and Psychology, Dahlem Institute for Neuroimaging of Emotion, Free University of Berlin Berlin, Germany.
  • 2Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, University College London London, UK.
  • 3Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a promising method to study functional organization of the prefrontal cortex. However, in order to realize the high potential of fNIRS, effective discrimination between physiological noise originating from forehead skin haemodynamic and cerebral signals is required. Main sources of physiological noise are global and local blood flow regulation processes on multiple time scales. The goal of the present study was to identify the main physiological noise contributions in fNIRS forehead signals and to develop a method for physiological de-noising of fNIRS data. To achieve this goal we combined concurrent time-domain fNIRS and peripheral physiology recordings with wavelet coherence analysis (WCA). Depth selectivity was achieved by analyzing moments of photon time-of-flight distributions provided by time-domain fNIRS. Simultaneously, mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), and skin blood flow (SBF) on the forehead were recorded. WCA was employed to quantify the impact of physiological processes on fNIRS signals separately for different time scales. We identified three main processes contributing to physiological noise in fNIRS signals on the forehead. The first process with the period of about 3 s is induced by respiration. The second process is highly correlated with time lagged MAP and HR fluctuations with a period of about 10 s often referred as Mayer waves. The third process is local regulation of the facial SBF time locked to the task-evoked fNIRS signals. All processes affect oxygenated haemoglobin concentration more strongly than that of deoxygenated haemoglobin. Based on these results we developed a set of physiological regressors, which were used for physiological de-noising of fNIRS signals. Our results demonstrate that proposed de-noising method can significantly improve the sensitivity of fNIRS to cerebral signals.

KEYWORDS:

de-noising methods; fNIRS; physiological noise; wavelet coherence

PMID:
24399947
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3865602
Free PMC Article
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