Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), an imaging tool that utilizes infrared light to measure changes within the concentration of oxygenated (HbO) and deoxygenated (HbR) hemoglobin, holds promise to study functional activity from motor, visual, and memory cortical regions using stimulus-induced tasks. This study investigated the reliability for fNIRS to examine cortical activations within the frontal eye fields (FEF) while initiating vergence eye movements, the inward and outward rotation of the eyes. FNIRS data were collected from twenty participants with normal binocular vision while performing vergence eye movements compared to sustained gaze fixation within a block design during two different sessions. Reliability of the experimental protocol was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). The ICC values ranged from 0.6 to 0.7 for measuring the HbO activation within the vicinity of the FEF. A frequency power spectrum analysis revealed two predominant frequencies within the functional activation signals from the FEF. One high-intensity signal was present at 0.029 Hz, centering around the block design frequency. The peak-intensity signal was observed between 0.012 and 0.018 Hz where this very low-frequency oscillation (VLFO) was hypothesized to be generated by the macrovasculature present near the FEF and should be avoided as a block design frequency in future fNIRS studies to avoid false positive results.
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