Activation of the prefrontal cortex during the Trail-Making Test detected with multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy

Authors

  • SUMIKO SHIBUYA-TAYOSHI md ,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Course of Integrated Brain Sciences, Institute of Health Bioscience, University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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  • SATSUKI SUMITANI md ,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Course of Integrated Brain Sciences, Institute of Health Bioscience, University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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  • KUMIKO KIKUCHI,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Course of Integrated Brain Sciences, Institute of Health Bioscience, University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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  • TSUNEHIKO TANAKA,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Course of Integrated Brain Sciences, Institute of Health Bioscience, University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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  • SHIN'YA TAYOSHI md ,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Course of Integrated Brain Sciences, Institute of Health Bioscience, University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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  • SHU-ICHI UENO md , phd,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Course of Integrated Brain Sciences, Institute of Health Bioscience, University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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  • TETSURO OHMORI md , phd

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Course of Integrated Brain Sciences, Institute of Health Bioscience, University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan
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Sumiko Shibuya-Tayoshi, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Course of Integrated Brain Sciences, Institute of Health Bioscience, University of Tokushima Graduate School, 3-18-15 Kuramoto, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan. Email: vez04561@nifty.ne.jp

Abstract

Abstract  The Trail-Making Test (TMT) is a neuropsychological test for evaluating executive function, and the TMT Part B reflects more complex cognitive processes including cognitive set shifting. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to be involved in these cognitive processes. The purpose of the present paper was to investigate PFC activation during performance of the TMT Part A and Part B using multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Subjects were 41 healthy right-handed volunteers. The hemodynamic changes in the PFC during the TMT were measured on a 22-channel NIRS machine. The subjects had a greater increase of oxygenated hemoglobin ([oxyHb]) during the TMT Part B than during Part A in the PFC. Twenty-seven out of the 41 subjects had a bilateral increase of [oxyHb] in the PFC during Part B according to laterality index. NIRS detected activation in the PFC during the performance of the TMT Part B and this PFC activation may reflect executive functions including cognitive set shifting involved in the TMT Part B.

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