Effective connectivity in response to posture changes in elderly subjects as assessed using functional near-infrared spectroscopy

Congcong Huo, Ming Zhang, Lingguo Bu, Gongcheng Xu, Ying Liu, Zengyong Li, Lingling Sun

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to assess the posture-related changes in frequency-specific effective connectivity (EC) in elderly subjects by coupling function measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The fNIRS signals were continuously recorded from the bilateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), motor cortex (MC), and occipital lobe (OL) in 17 healthy elderly and 19 healthy young subjects during sitting and standing states. EC was calculated based on Dynamic Bayesian inference in one low frequency interval I: 0.052-0.145Hz and one very low frequency interval II: 0.021-0.052Hz. Results show that in response to posture change, the coupling strength significantly increased in interval I of the young group from right PFC to MC (p < 0.05). Meanwhile, the coupling strength of the elderly group was significantly increased in interval II from the left PFC to right PFC (p = 0.008) and to left MC (p = 0.031) in the standing state as compared with that in the sitting state. Compared with that of the young group, the coupling strength of the elderly group was significantly decreased (p < 0.05) between the right PFC and left PFC in interval I and from PFC and OL to MC in interval II during the sitting state. The decreased EC in interval I was also positively correlated with cognitive scores in the elderly group. In addition, the coupling strength from MC to PFC in interval II during standing state was significantly increased in elderly subjects as compared with that in the young group. These results revealed the age-related changes in reorganization of interregional interactions for different postures. These findings may provide evidence of impaired cognitive function in the elderly and can deepen the understanding on age-related changes in neurovascular coupling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2018


  • Aging
  • Dynamic bayesian inference
  • Effective connectivity
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Posture change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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