Neurofunctional topography of the human hippocampus.
OBJECTIVE To investigate the left prefrontal lobe activation during semantic and non-semantic encoding tasks with functional near-infrared imaging (fNIRI) technique. METHOD 22 healthy subjects were assigned semantic encoding and non-semantic encoding tasks. During semantic encoding tasks, subjects were asked to make a meaningful sentence including two unrelated Chinese word pairs, while during non-semantic encoding task they were asked to judge whether the two Chinese word pairs had the same morphological structure or not. Light intensity of two wavelengths (760 nm and 850 nm) diffused through skull and left prefrontal lobe were real-time recorded and used to reconstruct the brain activation image during the experiment. RESULT With the fNIRI, significant activations were observed in the left inferior prefrontal cortex (Brodmann' areas 45 and 47) during the two tasks, but the evoked activations were more significant for semantic than non-semantic task. These observations were consistent with the results reported by others with functional megnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron-emission tomography PET. CONCLUSION The results suggest that fNIRI provides an important, non-invasive way to map the prefrontal activation during cognitive tasks.