Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Anuradha Godavarty

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Wei-Chiang Lin

Third Advisor's Name

Armando Barreto

Fourth Advisor's Name

Anthony McGoron

Keywords

Near Infrared Spectroscopy, Language, Joint Attention, Motor, Activation, Functional Connectivity, Effective Connectivity, Lateralization, Autism, Cerebral Palsy

Date of Defense

6-27-2013

Abstract

Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is an emerging non-invasive optical neuro imaging technique that monitors the hemodynamic response to brain activation with ms-scale temporal resolution and sub-cm spatial resolution. The overall goal of my dissertation was to develop and apply NIRS towards investigation of neurological response to language, joint attention and planning and execution of motor skills in healthy adults. Language studies were performed to investigate the hemodynamic response, synchrony and dominance feature of the frontal and fronto-temporal cortex of healthy adults in response to language reception and expression. The mathematical model developed based on granger causality explicated the directional flow of information during the processing of language stimuli by the fronto-temporal cortex. Joint attention and planning/ execution of motor skill studies were performed to investigate the hemodynamic response, synchrony and dominance feature of the frontal cortex of healthy adults and in children (5-8 years old) with autism (for joint attention studies) and individuals with cerebral palsy (for planning/execution of motor skills studies). The joint attention studies on healthy adults showed differences in activation as well as intensity and phase dependent connectivity in the frontal cortex during joint attention in comparison to rest. The joint attention studies on typically developing children showed differences in frontal cortical activation in comparison to that in children with autism. The planning and execution of motor skills studies on healthy adults and individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) showed difference in the frontal cortical dominance, that is, bilateral and ipsilateral dominance, respectively. The planning and execution of motor skills studies also demonstrated the plastic and learning behavior of brain wherein correlation was found between the relative change in total hemoglobin in the frontal cortex and the kinematics of the activity performed by the participants. Thus, during my dissertation the NIRS neuroimaging technique was successfully implemented to investigate the neurological response of language, joint attention and planning and execution of motor skills in healthy adults as well as preliminarily on children with autism and individuals with cerebral palsy. These NIRS studies have long-term potential for the design of early stage interventions in children with autism and customized rehabilitation in individuals with cerebral palsy.

Identifier

FI13080901

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