Motion tracking and electromyography-assisted identification of mirror hand contributions to functional near-infrared spectroscopy images acquired during a finger-tapping task performed by children with cerebral palsy
Recent studies have demonstrated functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to be a viable and sensitive method for imaging sensorimotor cortex activity in children with cerebral palsy (CP). However, during unilateral finger tapping, children with CP often exhibit unintended motions in the nontapping hand, known as mirror motions, which confuse the interpretation of resulting fNIRS images. This work presents a method for separating some of the mirror motion contributions to fNIRS images and demonstrates its application to fNIRS data from four children with CP performing a finger-tapping task with mirror motions. Finger motion and arm muscle activity were measured simultaneously with fNIRS signals using motion tracking and electromyography (EMG), respectively. Subsequently, subject-specific regressors were created from the motion capture or EMG data and independent component analysis was combined with a general linear model to create an fNIRS image representing activation due to the tapping hand and one image representing activation due to the mirror hand. The proposed method can provide information on how mirror motions contribute to fNIRS images, and in some cases, it helps remove mirror motion contamination from the tapping hand activation images.