This R21 proposal will develop and validate a real-time near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) imaging system that will allow subjects to monitor their own frontal brain activity, as it happens, in order to learn to modulate this activity. By modulating activity in frontal regions associated with drug craving and drug seeking behavior, subjects may be able to learn strategies to reduce drug craving a reduce the probability of relapse. Background: Biofeedback teaches individuals how to regulate autonomic bodily functions normally considered to be outside of the realm of conscious control by giving them immediate and continuous feedback reflecting the state of a process that is normally not perceptible to them. Neurofeedback is an extension of this concept where the quantity presented to the subject represents a measure of neural activity in a target brain region. Neurofeedback using EEG and real-time fMRI has shown utility in increasing attention, enhancing musicality, and improving mod, and modifying the subjective perception of pain. Real-time NIRS (rtNIRS) offers a potential alternative method for high-quality measurement of frontal cortical brain activity, an area important in decision-making processes having to do with drug craving and seeking, with good spatial localization, high temporal resolution, and simple acquisition hardware that is relatively portable and low-cost. Conscious control of brain activity in this region could blunt the drug craving that leads to relapse. Significance: Neurofeedback with rtNIRS has the potential to become a powerful tool for treatment of substance abuse and prevention of relapse. Real-time neurofeedback with rtfMRI has been shown to be effective in modulating a wide range of behaviors and perceptions. rtNIRS could potentially offer the benefits of neurofeedback at much lower cost and in a wider range of populations than rtfMRI.
Specific Aims : 1) Develop an optical helmet optimized for real-time frontal lobe neurofeedback. The target design will provide good bilateral coverage of areas, and provide measurements of extracerebral blood flow to allow these signals to be modeled and removed during analysis;2) Implement a real-time NIRS processing chain.
This aim will streamline the data recording and analysis process of our current NIRS system so that NIRS data will be preprocessed and analyzed for presentation to the subject with less than 1 second latency;3) Implement a feedback system to present brain activity data to the subject. In this aim we will evaluate candidate visual representations of neural activity for their ability to assist subject training 4) Investigate the feasibility of conscious control of brain activity in a specified frontal brain region with feedback consisting of real-time measures of regional activation. Frontal cortical executive whether neurofeedback alters performance on Go-NoGo and Balloon Analog Risk Tasks. Realtime NIRS will We will test provide a complementary methodology to real-time fMRI and EEG for modulating brain activity, as a step towards the goal of developing a novel treatment strategy to combat substance abuse and relapse.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this project is to develop and test a real-time near infrared spectroscopic (NIRS) functional imaging system to allow subjects to directly monitor, and as a result modulate, their frontal brain activity. The data from this exploratory study will be used to develop a novel and potentially important tool for training subjects to reduce drug craving and drug seeking behaviors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Neurotechnology Study Section (NT)
Program Officer
Bjork, James M
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Mclean Hospital
United States
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Hocke, Lia M; Tong, Yunjie; Lindsey, Kimberly P et al. (2016) Comparison of peripheral near-infrared spectroscopy low-frequency oscillations to other denoising methods in resting state functional MRI with ultrahigh temporal resolution. Magn Reson Med 76:1697-1707
Hocke, Lia Maria; Cayetano, Kenroy; Tong, Yunjie et al. (2015) Optimized multimodal functional magnetic resonance imaging/near-infrared spectroscopy probe for ultrahigh-resolution mapping. Neurophotonics 2:045004
Tong, Yunjie; Hocke, Lia M; Frederick, Blaise deB (2014) Short repetition time multiband echo-planar imaging with simultaneous pulse recording allows dynamic imaging of the cardiac pulsation signal. Magn Reson Med 72:1268-76
Tong, Yunjie; Frederick, Blaise Deb (2014) Studying the Spatial Distribution of Physiological Effects on BOLD Signals Using Ultrafast fMRI. Front Hum Neurosci 8:196
Tong, Yunjie; Hocke, Lia M; Nickerson, Lisa D et al. (2013) Evaluating the effects of systemic low frequency oscillations measured in the periphery on the independent component analysis results of resting state networks. Neuroimage 76:202-15
Janes, Amy C; Nickerson, Lisa D; Frederick, Blaise De B et al. (2012) Prefrontal and limbic resting state brain network functional connectivity differs between nicotine-dependent smokers and non-smoking controls. Drug Alcohol Depend 125:252-9
Tong, Yunjie; Hocke, Lia Maria; Licata, Stephanie C et al. (2012) Low-frequency oscillations measured in the periphery with near-infrared spectroscopy are strongly correlated with blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging signals. J Biomed Opt 17:106004
Frederick, Blaise deB; Nickerson, Lisa D; Tong, Yunjie (2012) Physiological denoising of BOLD fMRI data using Regressor Interpolation at Progressive Time Delays (RIPTiDe) processing of concurrent fMRI and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Neuroimage 60:1913-23
Tong, Yunjie; Frederick, Blaise deB (2012) Concurrent fNIRS and fMRI processing allows independent visualization of the propagation of pressure waves and bulk blood flow in the cerebral vasculature. Neuroimage 61:1419-27
Tong, Yunjie; Lindsey, Kimberly P; deB Frederick, Blaise (2011) Partitioning of physiological noise signals in the brain with concurrent near-infrared spectroscopy and fMRI. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 31:2352-62

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