A deep convolutional neural network for estimating hemodynamic response function with reduction of motion artifacts in fNIRS


Abstract Objective: Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a neuroimaging technique for monitoring hemoglobin concentration changes in a non-invasive manner. However, subject movements are often significant sources of artifacts. While several methods have been developed for suppressing this confounding noise, the conventional techniques have limitations on optimal selections of model parameters across participants or brain regions. To address this shortcoming, we aim to propose a method based on a deep convolutional neural network (CNN). Approach: The U-net is employed as a CNN architecture. Specifically, large-scale training and testing data are generated by combining variants of hemodynamic response function (HRF) with experimental measurements of motion noises. The neural network is then trained to reconstruct hemodynamic response coupled to neuronal activity with a reduction of motion artifacts. Main results: Using extensive analysis, we show that the proposed method estimates the task-related HRF more accurately than the existing methods of wavelet decomposition and autoregressive models. Specifically, the mean squared error and variance of HRF estimates, based on the CNN, are the smallest among all methods considered in this study. These results are more prominent when the semi-simulated data contains variants of shapes and amplitudes of HRF. Significance: The proposed CNN method allows for accurately estimating amplitude and shape of HRF with significant reduction of motion artifacts. This method may have a great potential for monitoring HRF changes in real-life settings that involve excessive motion artifacts.

Journal of Neural Engineering