Vigilance task-related change in brain functional connectivity as revealed by wavelet phase coherence analysis of near-infrared spectroscopy signals


This study aims to assess the vigilance task-related change in connectivity in healthy adults using wavelet phase coherence (WPCO) analysis of near-infrared spectroscopy signals (NIRS). NIRS is a non-invasive neuroimaging technique for assessing brain activity. Continuous recordings of the NIRS signals were obtained from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and sensorimotor cortical areas of 20 young healthy adults (24.9 ± 3.3 years) during a 10-min resting state and a 20-min vigilance task state. The vigilance task was used to simulate driving mental load by judging three random numbers (i.e., whether odd numbers). The task was divided into two sessions: the first 10 min (Task t1) and the second 10 min (Task t2). The WPCO of six channel pairs were calculated in five frequency intervals: 0.6-2 Hz (I), 0.145-0.6 Hz (II), 0.052-0.145 Hz (III), 0.021-0.052 Hz (IV), and 0.0095-0.021 Hz (V). The significant WPCO formed global connectivity (GC) maps in intervals I and II and functional connectivity (FC) maps in intervals III to V. Results show that the GC levels in interval I and FC levels in interval III were significantly lower in the Task t2 than in the resting state (p < 0.05), particularly between the left PFC and bilateral sensorimotor regions. Also, the reaction time (RT) shows an increase in Task t2 compared with that in Task t1. However, no significant difference in WPCO was found between Task t1 and resting state. The results showed that the change in FC at the range of 0.6-2 Hz was not attributed to the vigilance task per se, but the interaction effect of vigilance task and time factors. The findings suggest that the decreased attention level might be partly attributed to the reduced GC levels between the left prefrontal region and sensorimotor area. The present results provide a new insight into the vigilance task-related brain activity.

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience