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Research Paper

Journal of the Optical Society of Korea 2015; 19(3): 284-296

Published online June 25, 2015 https://doi.org/10.3807/JOSK.2015.19.3.284

Copyright © Optical Society of Korea.

Preliminary Study of Gender-Based Brain Lateralization Using Multi-Channel Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

Zephaniah Phillips V, Evgenii Kim, and Jae Gwan Kim

School of Information and Communications, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology

Received: April 9, 2015; Revised: May 18, 2015; Accepted: May 29, 2015


It has been thought that males tend to use their brain hemispheres more laterally than females. However, recent fMRI studies have shown that there may be no difference in brain lateralization between genders. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) presents a unique opportunity to acquire real time measurements of blood oxygenation changes to observe neural activity specific to the brain's left and right hemispheres. Using an in-house built multichannel fNIRS system, brain lateralization was observed from seven males and four females according to specially designed tasks for left and right hemisphere activation. The Pearson correlation coefficient and a modified Lateralization Index metric for continuous wave fNIRS systems were calculated to quantify brain lateralization. The preliminary results point to no significant difference in lateral hemodynamic changes between the genders. However, the correlation of symmetrical channel pairs decreased as the experiments progressed. To further develop this study, the subject's performance and the removal of global interference must be implemented for an improved study of brain lateralization.

Keywords: Near-infrared spectroscopy, Brain lateralization, Cognitive neuroscience,

OCIS codes: 170.3880; 300.0300; 300.1030