Intersubject variability of near-infrared spectroscopy signals during sensorimotor cortex activation

Hiroki Sato, Yutaka Fuchino, Masashi Kiguchi, Takusige Katura, Atsushi Maki, Takeshi Yoro, Hideaki Koizumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the intersubject signal variability of nearinfrared spectroscopy (NIRS), which is commonly used for noninvasive measurement of the product of the optical path length and the, concentration change in oxygenated hemoglobin (ΔC′oxy) and deoxygenated hemoglobin (δC′deoxy) and their sum (ΔC′ total) related to human cortical activation. We do this by measuring sensorimotor cortex activation in 31 healthy adults using 24-measurement- position nearinfrared (NIR) topography. A finger-tapping task is used to activate the sensorimotor cortex, and significant changes in the hemisphere contralateral to the tapping hand are assessed as being due to the activation. Of the possible patterns of signal changes, 90% include a positive ΔC′oxy, 76% included a negative ΔC′ deoxy, and 73% included a positive ΔC′total. The ΔC′deoxy and ΔC′total are less consistent because of a large intersubject variability in ΔC′ deoxy; in some cases there is a positive ΔC′ deoxy. In the cases with no positive ΔC′oxy in the contralateral hemisphere, there are cases of other possible changes for either or both hemispheres and no cases of no change in any hemoglobin species in either hemisphere. These results suggest that NIR topography is useful for observing brain activity in most cases, although intersubject signal variability still needs to be resolved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044001
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Finger tapping
  • Hemoglobin
  • Intersubject variability
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Sensorimotor cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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