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Sneak Peeks – May 2022

By Guy Perkins and Rens Burghardt

While the sheer volume of fNIRS publications has increased extensively, this new feature will only highlight a few of the latest publications that might support, inspire, or otherwise entertain the SfNIRS community

  • How might the tools we often use play into phenotypic bias? This review attempts to challenge our understanding.
  • A recent study has shed new light on a long-standing issue in fNIRS: test-retest reliability.
  • Ever wondered how fNIRS could aid your dating life? This study might provide some fresh ideas.”

First of all, a recent study has reviewed how the neuroscientific tools we frequently work with unintentionally introduce phenotypic bias. This can be due to the differences in source-detector coupling based upon skin colour or hair type. The authors of this study situate these issues within structural injustice, urge researchers to challenge racism in their scientific work and propose procedures and changes that may lead to more equitable science.

This study has suggested a new technique to address a longstanding issue in our field, namely the effect of physiological noise on the hemodynamic response function obtained from fNIRS measurements and how this affects the reproducibility of measurements of a given subject. This work uses short channel regression during a motor cortex activation task across 15 subjects. They present the results of the obtained HRF with and without short channel regression, as well as discuss how reproducible the first and second tests on subjects are.

Just as importantly, you might have wondered on one of the many lonely nights in the lab how fNIRS could enhance your love life. This study suggests fNIRS might actually have the potential to predict a match. How? Using a hyperscanning setup during speed dating sessions, interpersonal neural synchronization at the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was found to be predictive of social attraction. Not convinced? At least this study will make for a good conversation starter. 

Any thoughts on this new feature? Your comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated at commcomm@fnirs.org.