A Paradigm for Measuring Resting State Functional Connectivity in Young Children Using fNIRS and Freeplay [article]

Jaeah Kim, Alexander Ruesch, Nin Rebecca Kang, Theodore J. Huppert, Jana Kainerstorfer, Erik D. Thiessen, Anna V. Fisher
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
Resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) reflects organization of functional networks in the brain. Functional networks measured during "resting" (task-absent) state are correlated with cognitive function, and much development of these networks occurs between infancy and adulthood. However, RSFC research in young children (especially between ages 3 and 5 years) has been limited, mainly due to a paucity of child-appropriate neural measures and behavioral paradigms. This paper presents a new
more » ... aradigm to measure RSFC in young children, utilizing functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and Freeplay, a behavioral setup designed to approximate resting state in children. In Experiment 1, we recorded fNIRS data from children aged 3-8 years and adults aged 18-21 years and examined feasibility and validity, and compared measures across the two groups. In Experiment 2, we recorded longitudinal data (approximately 3 months apart) from children aged 3-5 years, and examined reliability under a variety of measures. Results suggest this paradigm is practical and has good construct validity and test-retest reliability, and may contribute towards increasing the availability of reliable data on resting state networks in early childhood. In particular, these are some of the first positive results on the feasibility of reliably measuring functional connectivity in children aged 3-5 years.
doi:10.1101/2020.01.13.904029 fatcat:bh6aux5qszdf3hwppu4kcxa4xa