NIH Research Festival
Understanding neurodevelopmental trajectories in children is crucial for early identification of disorders, exploring neural mechanisms, and predicting outcomes. Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) is an infant-friendly neuroimaging tool that allows monitoring of cerebral hemodynamic responses. With its advantages, fNIRS holds promise for studying neurodevelopmental trajectories. While many researchers have used fNIRS to investigate neural development in infants and children, there is a lack of synthesized evidence on its application for tracking neurodevelopmental trajectories. In this systematic review, we summarized findings from 84 original fNIRS studies and compared them with studies using other neuroimaging tools like EEG and fMRI. Our results revealed age-related increases in network integration and segregation, interhemispheric connectivity, leftward asymmetry, and differences in phase oscillation during resting-state. Typically developing infants and children showed more localized and differentiated activation when processing sensory information, indicating more mature and specialized sensory networks. Developmental changes were observed in language processing and executive functioning tasks. However, children with developmental disorders displayed distinct trajectories, with autism spectrum disorder showing initial overconnectivity followed by underconnectivity during resting-state, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder exhibiting lower prefrontal cortex activation during executive functioning tasks. This review supports the use of fNIRS in tracking neurodevelopmental trajectories. Further longitudinal studies are needed to validate these trajectories and explore the potential of neurobiomarkers for early identification of developmental disorders and evaluating intervention effects.
Scientific Focus Area: Neuroscience
This page was last updated on Monday, September 25, 2023