In this study we used near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to measure relative changes in cortical hemodynamics from 19 adult and 19 preschool children (aged 3-4 years old), while they watched epochs of static and motion pictures extracted from TV programs. The spatio-temporal characteristics of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin volumes (oxy- and deoxy-Hb) of both subject groups were described and compared where appropriate for five regions of interest (ROIs). These were striate, left and right middle temporal, and left and right temporo-parietal areas. Over these areas, deoxy-Hb volumes did not differ between both groups. Preschool data showed significant increases in oxy-Hb over striate, middle temporal and temporo-parietal areas in response to visual motion stimuli. Static stimuli caused a significant oxy-Hb increase over striate and left middle temporal areas. Surprisingly, changes in adult oxy-Hb were not profound and did not show a significant oxy-Hb increase in striate and middle temporal areas in response to the motion stimuli, warranting further research. In spite of oxy-Hb volume differences, oxy-Hb recovery to baseline followed a similar pattern in both groups in response to both static and motion stimuli. Together, the results suggest that near-infrared spectroscopy is a viable method to investigate cortical development of preschool children by monitoring their hemodynamic response patterns.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology