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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 18, Iss. 25 — Dec. 6, 2010
  • pp: 26550–26568

Bayesian filtering of human brain hemodynamic activity elicited by visual short-term maintenance recorded through functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)

F. Scarpa, S. Cutini, P. Scatturin, R. Dell’Acqua, and G. Sparacino  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 25, pp. 26550-26568 (2010)

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Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a neuroimaging technique that measures changes in oxy-hemoglobin (ΔHbO) and deoxy-hemoglobin (ΔHbR) concentration associated with brain activity. The signal acquired with fNIRS is naturally affected by disturbances engendering from ongoing physiological activity (e.g., cardiac, respiratory, Mayer wave) and random measurement noise. Despite its several drawbacks, the so-called conventional averaging (CA) is still widely used to estimate the hemodynamic response function (HRF) from noisy signal. One such drawback is related to the number of trials necessary to derive stable HRF functions adopting the CA approach, which must be substantial (N >> 50). In this work, a pre-processing procedure to remove artifacts followed by the application of a non-parametric Bayesian approach is proposed that capitalizes on a priori available knowledge about HRF and noise. Results with the proposed Bayesian approach were compared with CA and with a straightforward band-pass filtering approach. On simulated data, a five times lower estimation error on HRF was obtained with respect to that obtained by CA, and 2.5 times lower than that obtained by band pass filtering. On real data, the improvement achieved by the present method was attested by an increase in the contrast to noise ratio (CNR) and by a reduced variability in single trial estimation. An application of the present Bayesian approach is illustrated that was optimized to monitor changes in hemodynamic activity reflecting variations in visual short-term memory load in humans, which are notoriously hard to detect using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In particular, statistical analyses of HRFs recorded during a memory task established with high reliability the crucial role of the intraparietal sulcus and the intra-occipital sulcus in posterior areas of the human brain in visual short-term memory maintenance.

© 2010 OSA

OCIS Codes
(170.3890) Medical optics and biotechnology : Medical optics instrumentation
(200.4560) Optics in computing : Optical data processing
(300.6340) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, infrared
(170.2655) Medical optics and biotechnology : Functional monitoring and imaging

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: August 24, 2010
Revised Manuscript: November 12, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: November 14, 2010
Published: December 3, 2010

F. Scarpa, S. Cutini, P. Scatturin, R. Dell’Acqua, and G. Sparacino, "Bayesian filtering of human brain hemodynamic activity elicited by visual short-term maintenance recorded through functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)," Opt. Express 18, 26550-26568 (2010)

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