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Utilizing slope method as an alternative data analysis for functional near-infrared spectroscopy-derived cerebral hemodynamic responses

Abstract : The purpose was to propose an alternative data analysis for functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)-derived hemodynamics as a function of cortical activation changes. We evaluated hemodynamic responses from the prefrontal cortex region while 38 participants performed a cognitive task. The task consisted of an arithmetic calculation with three levels of complexity (i.e., easy, medium and difficult). These task-dependent hemodynamic responses were analyzed by the slope method (i.e. using a linear regression through the cognitive task) and were compared with the corresponding responses obtained with a traditional approach of the amplitude method. Subjective scales of task loading (assessed by DP15 and NASA-TLX) and behavioral outcomes (performance and reaction time) were also recorded in response to the task complexity. Results revealed that the proposed slope method allowed a better discrimination in terms of cortical activation among all levels of mental workload. There was no significant increase in cortical activation between the medium and difficult levels (p = .30; d = 0.09) with the amplitude method while the slope coefficient was sensitive to the different levels (p < .01; d = 0.32). These preliminary results from a large sample size demonstrated that the slope method appears suitable for discriminating the changes in cortical activation with respect to the mental workload.
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Kevin Mandrick, Gérard Derosiere, Gérard Dray, Denis Coulon, Jean-Paul Micallef, et al.. Utilizing slope method as an alternative data analysis for functional near-infrared spectroscopy-derived cerebral hemodynamic responses. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Elsevier, 2013, 43 (4), pp.335-341. ⟨10.1016/j.ergon.2013.05.003⟩. ⟨hal-03246840⟩

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