Using OPMs to measure neural activity in standing, mobile participants

Robert A. Seymour, Nicholas Alexander, Stephanie Mellor, George C. O'Neill, Tim M. Tierney, Gareth R. Barnes, Eleanor A. Maguire
2021 NeuroImage  
Optically pumped magnetometer-based magnetoencephalography (OP-MEG) can be used to measure neuromagnetic fields while participants move in a magnetically shielded room. Head movements in previous OP-MEG studies have been up to 20 cm translation and ∼30° rotation in a sitting position. While this represents a step-change over stationary MEG systems, naturalistic head movement is likely to exceed these limits, particularly when participants are standing up. In this proof-of-concept study, we
more » ... t to push the movement limits of OP-MEG even further. Using a 90 channel (45-sensor) whole-head OP-MEG system and concurrent motion capture, we recorded auditory evoked fields while participants were: (i) sitting still, (ii) standing up and still, and (iii) standing up and making large natural head movements continuously throughout the recording - maximum translation 120 cm, maximum rotation 198°. Following pre-processing, movement artefacts were substantially reduced but not eliminated. However, upon utilisation of a beamformer, the M100 event-related field localised to primary auditory regions. Furthermore, the event-related fields from auditory cortex were remarkably consistent across the three conditions. These results suggest that a wide range of movement is possible with current OP-MEG systems. This in turn underscores the exciting potential of OP-MEG for recording neural activity during naturalistic paradigms that involve movement (e.g. navigation), and for scanning populations who are difficult to study with stationary MEG (e.g. young children).
doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118604 pmid:34555493 pmcid:PMC8591613 fatcat:6z4mhfahozcvzlkrq56sngqgyu