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Multiuser aproved grant 14/50282-5 - infrared neuroimage (fNIRS)

Grant number: 17/26910-4
Support Opportunities:Multi-user Equipment Program
Duration: March 01, 2018 - February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Physiological Psychology
Principal Investigator:Emma Otta
Grantee:Emma Otta
Host Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/50282-5 - Positive psychology and neuroscience: translational research to promote well-being and emotional regulation, AP.PCPE
As informações de acesso ao Equipamento Multiusuário são de responsabilidade do Pesquisador responsável
EMU web page:
Type of equipment:Caracterização de Materiais - Imageamento - Infravermelho, Raman (fNIRS)
Caracterização e Análises de Amostras - Biomédica - Corporal
Manufacturer: Rogue Resolutions
Model: Brainsight NIRS


Development of behavioral and psychophysiological measures: Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Since the discovery of the applicability of functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) in the assessment of the functional activation of the human cerebral cortex about 20 years ago, the neuroimaging field using fNIRS has grown significantly. Comparing with more traditional neuroimaging modalities such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or positron emission tomography (PET), fNIRS is characterized as a safe, non-invasive and silent functional neuroimaging method, not requiring injection of contrast or physical restraint/sedation. The cost-benefit of fNIRS is also very interesting for research contexts. While fMRI and PET equipment are generally confined to hospital settings (because of their high acquisition and maintenance costs, as well as size/weight), fNIRS equipment is incomparably cheaper to purchase, has relatively low maintenance costs, and can be transported with relative ease. In addition to the relevance of its use with adult samples, fNIRS is considered one of the best cortical neuroimaging techniques for use with infants. If a few years ago much of the research on the neuronal processing of infants was performed with electroencephalogram (EEG), a recent wave of fNIRS studies has contributed significantly to the advancement of scientific knowledge in developmental neuroscience. fNIRS presents specific advantages in relation to EEG, especially high spatial resolution, while maintaining acceptable temporal resolution, and lower susceptibility to movement artifacts and electromagnetic interference. In addition, overcomes the ethical and safety issues associated with the use of fMRI and PET in exclusively research/non-clinical contexts. The choice of fNIRS as a neuroimaging method in our center is justified by the following advantages: safety, non-invasiveness, cost-effectiveness, adequate use in the different age groups (from infants to adults) and good balance between spatial and temporal resolution. In addition, considering its use in clarifying innovative research questions, studies conducted with fNIRS within the Center will have a high potential for scientific impact in the area. Trajectories of the neural processing of motor actions in the first year of life and its link with the development of social cognition. The Mirror Neuron System (MNS) is a brain network activated during the execution and observation of certain motor actions, and is believed to assist in the understanding of actions, intentions and emotions in others. However, the functioning of the MNS at very early stages of human development remains relatively unexplored. Two preliminary studies provided the first evidence of the activation of this system at 6 and 9 months. However, despite its importance for neurocognitive development, little is known about the developmental trajectory of this system throughout the first year of life. In addition, it is important to test the relationship between these indicators and early social-cognitive development. To that end, the neuronal processing of motor actions (via fNIRS) will be tested in 20 typically-developing infants, assessed at three time-points - 6, 10 and 12 months of age. In addition, and considering the possible involvement of the MNS in the development of early social-cognitive abilities, we also intend to study the relationship between patterns of neuronal activation and performance in a joint-attention task at 12 months. Thus, the present study aims to expand extant knowledge about the very early patterns of activation of the MNE and its implications for social-cognitive development throughout the first year of life. (AU)

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