Long-Term Changes in Optical Properties (μa, μs, μeff and DPF) of Human Head Tissue During Functional Neuroimaging Experiments

  • Hamoon Zohdi
  • Felix Scholkmann
  • Nassim Nasseri
  • Ursula WolfEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1072)


Frequency-domain near-infrared spectroscopy (FD-NIRS) enables to measure absolute optical properties (i.e. the absorption coefficient, μa, and the reduced scattering coefficient, \( {\mu}_{\mathrm{s}}^{\prime } \)) of the brain tissue. The aim of this study was to investigate how the optical properties changed during the course of a functional NIRS experiment. The analyzed dataset comprised of FD-NIRS measurements of 14 healthy subjects (9 males, 5 females, aged: 33.4 ± 10.5 years, range: 24–57 years old). Each measurement lasted 33 min, i.e. 8 min baseline in darkness, 10 min intermittent light stimulation, and 15 min recovery in darkness. Optical tissue properties were obtained bilaterally over the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and visual cortex (VC) with FD-NIRS (Imagent, ISS Inc., USA). Changes in μa and \( {\mu}_{\mathrm{s}}^{\prime } \) were directly measured and two parameters were calculated, i.e. the differential pathlength factor (DPF) and the effective attenuation coefficient (μeff). Differences in the behavior of the optical changes were observed when comparing group-averaged data versus single datasets: no clear overall trend was presented in the group data, whereas a clear long-term trend was visible in almost all of the single measurements. Interestingly, the changes in \( {\mu}_{\mathrm{s}}^{\prime } \) statistically significantly correlated with μa, positively in the PFC and negatively in the VC. Our analysis demonstrates that all optical brain tissue properties (μa, \( {\mu}_{\mathrm{s}}^{\prime } \), μeff and DPF) change during these functional neuroimaging experiments. The change in \( {\mu}_{\mathrm{s}}^{\prime } \) is not random but follows a trend, which depends on the single experiment and measurement location. The change in the scattering properties of the brain tissue during a functional experiment is not negligible. The assumption \( {\mu}_{\mathrm{s}}^{\prime } \) ≈ const during an experiment is valid for group-averaged data but not for data from single experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hamoon Zohdi
    • 1
  • Felix Scholkmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nassim Nasseri
    • 1
  • Ursula Wolf
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Complementary MedicineUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Neonatology, Biomedical Optics Research LaboratoryUniversity Hospital Zurich, University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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