Multi-channel NIRS, so-called optical topography (OT), allows functional mapping of the cortex; however, it takes a long time to set optodes on the head and is relatively expensive. Thus, OT is not suitable as a screening test of brain disorders evaluating many subjects. Recently, a wearable two-channel continuous wave NIRS (CW-NIRS) device has been developed. Such a simple NIRS device may be applicable as a screening test of brain disorders; however, its reliability in measurements of brain function is not yet clear. Here, we tested a two-channel CW-NIRS, which employs single LED (800 nm) for measurement of total hemoglobin (t-Hb) changes. We measured t-Hb changes in the bilateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) during mental arithmetic tasks, employing the CW-NIRS and time-resolve NIRS (TNIRS). The left-right asymmetry of the PFC activity was evaluated by calculating the laterality index (LI; (R-L)/(R + L) of t-Hb), which reflects mental stress. The interval between CW-NIRS and TNIRS measurements was 1–13 days. A significant positive correlation was observed between LI measured by CW-NIRS and TNIRS. These results suggest the reliability of the simple CW-NIRS, and it may be applicable to prevent stress-induced various diseases. Finally, it should be emphasized that the left-right asymmetry of PFC activity is relatively stable.
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This work was supported in part by Strategic Research Foundation Grant-aided Project for Private Universities (S1411017) from the Ministry of Education, culture, Sports, Sciences and Technology of Japan, and grants from Iing Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) and Southern Tohoku General Hospital (Fukushima, Japan).
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