This week, Psychology graduate student Emma Holmes and co-authors Dr. Douglas Barrett and Prof. Francisco Gonzalez-Lima are presenting their poster Cerebral hemodynamic effects of transcranial infrared laser stimulation measured with functional near-infrared spectroscopy at the Texas Academy of Science meeting in Midland, TX. Their research uses safe, non-invasive transcranial infrared laser stimulation (TILS) to locally increase brain energy metabolism. TILS can result in improvements in sustained attention and visuospatial short-term memory.
Left: The transcranial infrared laser stimulation (TILS) device. Center: TILS applied to a participant’s forehead. Right: Pre- vs. Post-TILS changes in blood oxygenation during a sustained attention task
Holmes and colleagues used fNIRS to measure oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin in healthy adults’ frontal brain regions before and after TILS. They found a significant increase in blood oxygenation after TILS for the sustained attention task, but no such change in the visuospatial short-term memory task. These findings may be useful in the future for monitoring the success of laser stimulation on cerebral oxygenation.