Non-invasive functional mapping of the human motor cortex using near-infrared spectroscopy

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We applied non-invasive multisite near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to assess oxygenation changes during performance of a sequential finger opposition task in five healthy human adults. Oxygenation response was localized anatomically using three-dimensional high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (3D MRI). NIRS measurements showed a localized increase in [oxy-Hb] and a decrease in [deoxy-Hb] in all subjects. The largest response was obtained when the measurement position was over the primary motor and sensory cortex hand area. Interestingly, changes in [deoxy-Hb] seemed to be more localized than changes in [oxy-Hb]. We conclude that this simple, non-invasive and flexible optical bedside method may be used for functional brain mapping.

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