The validity of functional near-infrared spectroscopy recordings of visuospatial working memory processes in humans

Witmer, Joëlle S.; Aeschlimann, Eva A.; Metz, Andreas J.; Troche, Stefan J.; Rammsayer, Thomas H. (2018). The validity of functional near-infrared spectroscopy recordings of visuospatial working memory processes in humans. Brain Sciences, 8(4) MDPI 10.3390/brainsci8040062

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Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is increasingly used for investigating cognitive processes. To provide converging evidence for the validity of fNIRS recordings in cognitive neuroscience, we investigated functional activation in the frontal cortex in 43 participants during the processing of a visuospatial working memory (WM) task and a sensory duration discrimination (DD) task functionally unrelated to WM. To distinguish WM-related processes from a general effect of increased task demand, we applied an adaptive approach, which ensured that subjective task demand was virtually identical for all individuals and across both tasks. Our specified region of interest covered Brodmann Area 8 of the left hemisphere, known for its important role in the execution of WM processes. Functional activation, as indicated by an increase of oxygenated and a decrease of deoxygenated hemoglobin, was shown for the WM task, but not in the DD task. The overall pattern of results indicated that hemodynamic responses recorded by fNIRS are sensitive to specific visuospatial WM capacity-related processes and do not reflect a general effect of increased task demand. In addition, the finding that no such functional activation could be shown for participants with far above-average mental ability suggested different cognitive processes adopted by this latter group.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Personality Psychology, Differential Psychology and Diagnostics
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Witmer, Joëlle; Aeschlimann, Eva Aurelia; Troche, Stefan and Rammsayer, Thomas

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education

ISSN:

2076-3425

Publisher:

MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Karin Dubler

Date Deposited:

30 Apr 2019 13:49

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 01:31

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/brainsci8040062

PubMed ID:

29621179

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.127437

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/127437

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