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Simulation of Near-Infrared Light Absorption Considering Individual Head and Prefrontal Cortex Anatomy: Implications for Optical Neuroimaging
Published: Monday, October 24, 2011
Author: Florian B. Haeussinger et al.

by Florian B. Haeussinger, Sebastian Heinzel, Tim Hahn, Martin Schecklmann, Ann-Christine Ehlis, Andreas J. Fallgatter

Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is an established optical neuroimaging method for measuring functional hemodynamic responses to infer neural activation. However, the impact of individual anatomy on the sensitivity of fNIRS measuring hemodynamics within cortical gray matter is still unknown. By means of Monte Carlo simulations and structural MRI of 23 healthy subjects (mean age: years), we characterized the individual distribution of tissue-specific NIR-light absorption underneath 24 prefrontal fNIRS channels. We, thereby, investigated the impact of scalp-cortex distance (SCD), frontal sinus volume as well as sulcal morphology on gray matter volumes () traversed by NIR-light, i.e. anatomy-dependent fNIRS sensitivity. The NIR-light absorption between optodes was distributed describing a rotational ellipsoid with a mean penetration depth of considering the deepest of light. Of the detected photon packages scalp and bone absorbed and absorbed of the energy. The mean volume was negatively correlated () with the SCD and frontal sinus volume () and was reduced by in subjects with relatively large compared to small frontal sinus. Head circumference was significantly positively correlated with the mean SCD () and the traversed frontal sinus volume (). Sulcal morphology had no significant impact on . Our findings suggest to consider individual SCD and frontal sinus volume as anatomical factors impacting fNIRS sensitivity. Head circumference may represent a practical measure to partly control for these sources of error variance.
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