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Assessment of neuroplasticity in the human brain with near-infrared spectroscopy

Grant number: 16/22990-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2017
Effective date (End): November 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Rickson Coelho Mesquita
Grantee:Sergio Luiz Novi Junior
Home Institution: Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin (IFGW). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07559-3 - BRAINN - The Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology, AP.CEPID


The brain is a complex and dynamical system that is always modifying itself to adapt and evolve. This capability of changing constantly is known as brain plasticity, or neuroplasticity. Although neuroplasticity is pointed as the key cerebral feature to brain reorganization and development, the study of neuroplasticity is restricted to the limitations of current clinical neuroimaging modalities, such as electroencephalography (EEG) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). The goal of this project is to employ Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and graph theory to assess neuroplasticity based on hemodynamic spontaneous fluctuations of the brain during the resting state and functional activation. NIRS is a neuroimaging technique with potential to overcome some of the limitations presented by fMRI and EEG due to its high specificity, high temporal resolution and portability. We first attempt to validate and compare NIRS-based functional networks with multimodal methods by combining NIRS with fMRI and EEG. Then, we aim to evaluate effects of neuroplasticity with NIRS in two different scenarios: during rehabilitation of stroke patients and during brain development of infants. (AU)