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Vol. 58, No. 3-4, 2008
Issue release date: March 2009
Neuropsychobiology 2008;58:200–210
(DOI:10.1159/000201717)

Increase in Prefrontal Cortex Blood Flow during the Computer Version Trail Making Test

Kubo M. · Shoshi C. · Kitawaki T. · Takemoto R. · Kinugasa K. · Yoshida H. · Honda C. · Okamoto M.
aGraduate School of Health Sciences, Okayama University, and bOkayama Ryogo Center, Okayama, Japan

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Abstract

Background/Aims: Previous studies using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) have reported increases in both oxygenated hemoglobin (oxyHb) and deoxygenated hemoglobin (deoxyHb) during the paper version Trail Making Test (TMT), a neuropsychological test for evaluating cognitive and executive functions. We measured oxyHb and deoxyHb in the prefrontal cortex during the computer version TMT. Methods: Fifteen healthy students first performed TMT-A and then TMT-B; another 7 students first performed TMT-B and then TMT-A. The mean concentrations of Hb (10 s before TMT, during TMT and 30–40 s after TMT) were determined and analyzed by ANOVA. Results: oxyHb increased while deoxyHb decreased during the TMT. There was a significant order effect on the change in deoxyHb, but not in oxyHb. oxyHb significantly increased in the bilateral prefrontal cortices both in TMT-A and TMT-B. The increase tended to be more prominent in TMT-B than in TMT-A. deoxyHb significantly decreased in the bilateral prefrontal cortices, both in TMT-A and TMT-B. Conclusion: The results suggest that blood flow increases in the prefrontal cortex during the performance of TMT, and that the bilateral prefrontal cortices are involved in the performance of the computer version TMT.



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    External Resources

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