Event-related Visual Versus Blocked Motor Task: Detection of Specific Cortical Activation Patterns With Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

Neuropsychobiology. 2006;53(2):77-82. doi: 10.1159/000091723. Epub 2006 Feb 23.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the regional specificity of multi-channel functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in the detection of cortical activation in humans. Therefore, brain activation evoked by a visual as well as a motor task was examined using 52-channel fNIRS. Analyses demonstrated an isolated activation in the occipital area during visual stimulation, whereas other regions exhibited little or no activation. Analyses of the motor task data clearly identified a differential activation pattern. The observation of an extensive cortical area by multi-channel measurement during two different tasks made it possible to examine the extent to which fNIRS measurements detect regional specific activations. We conclude that fNIRS measurements can detect regionally isolated cortical activation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping / instrumentation*
  • Cerebral Cortex / blood supply
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Oxyhemoglobins / metabolism
  • Perceptual Masking
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared*


  • Oxyhemoglobins