Brain activity during the Clock-Drawing Test: multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy study

Author(s): Shoyama M, Nishioka T, Okumura M, Kose A, Tsuji T, et al.


The Clock-Drawing Test (CDT) is widely used in clinical practice for the screening of dementia. However, neural activity during real clock drawing has not been investigated due to motion artifacts. In the present study, we examined brain activity during real clock drawing using multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). We measured hemoglobin concentration changes in the prefrontal and temporal surface areas during clock drawing using 52-channel NIRS. Data obtained from 37 right-handed healthy volunteers were analyzed. We found significant increases in oxy-Hb in more than 96.2% of the channels (false-discovery rate corrected, p < .025). The time required for CDT performance showed a negative correlation with changes in oxy-Hb in the prefrontal region (r = -.529, p = .002). The mean value for oxy-Hb changes was higher in the left hemisphere in 20 subjects (54%) and in the right hemisphere in 17 subjects (46%). The NIRS/CDT combination is acceptable as a clinical tool, as the method has the advantages of direct measurement of cortical activation with high temporal resolution. Our results confirm the aspects of the CDT involving the frontal-lobe battery.

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