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Med Biol Eng Comput. 2004 Jan;42(1):92-9.

Detection of fast neuronal signals in the motor cortex from functional near infrared spectroscopy measurements using independent component analysis.

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Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT), SCD-SISTA Division, K.U.Leuven, Belgium.


Fast changes, in the range of milliseconds, in the optical properties of cerebral tissue are associated with brain activity and can be detected using non-invasive near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). These changes are assumed to be caused by changes in the light scattering properties of the neuronal tissue. The aim of this study was to develop highly sensitive data analysis algorithms to detect this fast signal, which is small compared with other physiological signals. A frequency-domain tissue oximeter, whose laser diodes were intensity modulated at 110 MHz, was used. The amplitude, mean intensity and phase of the modulated optical signal were measured at a sample rate of 96 Hz. The probe, consisting of four crossed source detector pairs was placed above the motor cortex, contralateral to the hand performing a tapping exercise consisting of alternating rest and tapping periods of 20 s each. An adaptive filter was used to remove the arterial pulsatility from the optical signals. Independent component analysis allowed further separation of a signal component containing the fast signal. In nine out of 14 subjects, a significant fast neuronal signal related to the finger tapping was found in the intensity signals. In the phase signals, indications of the fast signal were found in only two subjects.

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