Comparison of group-level, source localized activity for simultaneous functional near-infrared spectroscopy-magnetoencephalography and simultaneous fNIRS-fMRI during parametric median nerve stimulation

Neurophotonics. 2017 Jan;4(1):015001. doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.4.1.015001. Epub 2017 Jan 20.


Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a noninvasive neuroimaging technique, which uses light to measure changes in cerebral blood oxygenation through sensors placed on the surface of the scalp. We recorded concurrent fNIRS with magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in order to investigate the group-level correspondence of these measures with source-localized fNIRS estimates. Healthy participants took part in both a concurrent fNIRS-MEG and fNIRS-fMRI neuroimaging session during two somatosensory stimulation tasks, a blocked design median nerve localizer and parametric pulsed-pair median nerve stimulation using interpulse intervals from 100 to 500 ms. We found the spatial correlation for estimated activation patterns from the somatosensory task was [Formula: see text], 0.57, and [Formula: see text] and the amplitude correlation was [Formula: see text], 0.52, and [Formula: see text] for fMRI-MEG, fMRI-fNIRS oxy-hemoglobin, and fMRI-fNIRS deoxy-hemoglobin signals, respectively. Taken together, these results show good correspondence among the fMRI, fNIRS, and MEG with the great majority of the difference across modalities being driven by lower sensitivity for deeper brain sources in MEG and fNIRS. These results provide an important validation of source-localized fNIRS in the context of concurrent multimodal imaging for future studies of the relationship between physiological effects in the human brain.

Keywords: brain; functional imaging; functional magnetic resonance imaging; functional near-infrared spectroscopy; magnetoencephalography; multimodal.