Spatial and temporal analysis of human motor activity using noninvasive NIR topography

Med Phys. 1995 Dec;22(12):1997-2005. doi: 10.1118/1.597496.


The effect of motor activity on the left fronto-central region of the human brain was analyzed spatially and temporally by using noninvasive near-infrared light (NIR) topography. The changes in oxygenation states caused by motor activity were measured using intensity-modulated NIR spectroscopy at ten measurement positions on the head surface. The subject randomly performed unilateral finger opposition for 30 s as motor stimulation. When the subject performed contralateral (right) finger movement, significant increases in both oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) and total hemoglobin (total-Hb) and decreases in deoxygenated hemoglobin (deoxy-Hb) were observed in a particular area. By mapping the static topograms of the changes of each Hb and comparing them with an anatomical image of MRI, it was found that the particular area was located on the motor cortex along the central sulcus. By mapping the dynamic topograms of the changes of total-Hb, which reflect the cerebral blood volume, and analyzing the spatiotemporal hemodynamic changes associated with the brain activity, it was found that the regional change in cerebral blood volume in the primary motor area overlaps the global change around the motor cortex. These results demonstrate that NIR topography can be used to effectively observe the human brain activity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Blood Volume
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Motor Cortex / blood supply
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Oxyhemoglobins / metabolism


  • Hemoglobins
  • Oxyhemoglobins
  • deoxyhemoglobin