Functional near infrared spectroscopy of the sensory and motor brain regions with simultaneous kinematic and EMG monitoring during motor tasks

J Vis Exp. 2014 Dec 5;(94):52391. doi: 10.3791/52391.

Abstract

There are several advantages that functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) presents in the study of the neural control of human movement. It is relatively flexible with respect to participant positioning and allows for some head movements during tasks. Additionally, it is inexpensive, light weight, and portable, with very few contraindications to its use. This presents a unique opportunity to study functional brain activity during motor tasks in individuals who are typically developing, as well as those with movement disorders, such as cerebral palsy. An additional consideration when studying movement disorders, however, is the quality of actual movements performed and the potential for additional, unintended movements. Therefore, concurrent monitoring of both blood flow changes in the brain and actual movements of the body during testing is required for appropriate interpretation of fNIRS results. Here, we show a protocol for the combination of fNIRS with muscle and kinematic monitoring during motor tasks. We explore gait, a unilateral multi-joint movement (cycling), and two unilateral single-joint movements (isolated ankle dorsiflexion, and isolated hand squeezing). The techniques presented can be useful in studying both typical and atypical motor control, and can be modified to investigate a broad range of tasks and scientific questions.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01829724.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Bicycling / physiology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Electromyography / methods*
  • Gait / physiology
  • Hand / physiology
  • Humans
  • Movement / physiology
  • Sensorimotor Cortex / physiology*
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / methods*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01829724