The ability to assess frontal lobe function in a rapid, objective, and standardized way, without the need for expertise in cognitive test administration might be particularly helpful in mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), where objective measures are needed. Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a reliable technique to noninvasively measure local hemodynamic changes in brain areas near the head surface. In this paper, we are combining fNIRS and frameless stereotaxy which allowed us to co-register the functional images with previously acquired anatomical MRI volumes. In our experiment, the subjects were asked to perform a task, evaluating the complexity of daily life activities, previously shown with fMRI to activate areas of the anterior frontal cortex. We reconstructed averaged oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin data from 20 healthy subjects in a spherical coordinate. The spherical coordinate is a natural representation of surface brain activation projection. Our results show surface activation projected from the medial frontopolar cortex which is consistent with previous fMRI results. With this original technique, we will construct a normative database for a simple cognitive test which can be useful in evaluating cognitive disability such as mild traumatic brain injury.
Published by Elsevier Inc.