Increase in Low-Frequency Oscillations in fNIRS as Cerebral Response to Auditory Stimulation with Familiar Music


Recognition of typical patterns of brain response to external stimuli using near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) may become a gateway to detecting covert consciousness in clinically unresponsive patients. This is the first fNIRS study on the cortical hemodynamic response to favorite music using a frequency domain approach. The aim of this study was to identify a possible marker of cognitive response in healthy subjects by investigating variations in the oscillatory signal of fNIRS in the spectral regions of low-frequency (LFO) and very-low-frequency oscillations (VLFO). The experiment consisted of two periods of exposure to preferred music, preceded and followed by a resting phase. Spectral power in the LFO region increased in all the subjects after the first exposure to music and decreased again in the subsequent resting phase. After the second music exposure, the increase in LFO spectral power was less distinct. Changes in LFO spectral power were more after first music exposure and the repetition-related habituation effect strongly suggest a cerebral origin of the fNIRS signal. Recognition of typical patterns of brain response to specific environmental stimulation is a required step for the concrete validation of a fNIRS-based diagnostic tool.

Brain Sciences