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Longitudinal fNIRS and EEG metrics of habituation and novelty detection are correlated in 1-18-month-old infants.

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Katus, Laura 
Blasi, Anna 
McCann, Sam 
Mason, Luke 
Mbye, Ebrima 


INTRODUCTION: Habituation and novelty detection are two fundamental and widely studied neurocognitive processes. Whilst neural responses to repetitive and novel sensory input have been well-documented across a range of neuroimaging modalities, it is not yet fully understood how well these different modalities are able to describe consistent neural response patterns. This is particularly true for infants and young children, as different assessment modalities might show differential sensitivity to underlying neural processes across age. Thus far, many neurodevelopmental studies are limited in either sample size, longitudinal scope or breadth of measures employed, impeding investigations of how well common developmental trends can be captured via different methods. METHOD: This study assessed habituation and novelty detection in N = 204 infants using EEG and fNIRS measured in two separate paradigms, but within the same study visit, at 1, 5 and 18 months of age in an infant cohort in rural Gambia. EEG was acquired during an auditory oddball paradigm during which infants were presented with Frequent, Infrequent and Trial Unique sounds. In the fNIRS paradigm, infants were familiarised to a sentence of infant-directed speech, novelty detection was assessed via a change in speaker. Indices for habituation and novelty detection were extracted for both EEG and NIRS RESULTS: We found evidence for weak to medium positive correlations between responses on the fNIRS and the EEG paradigms for indices of both habituation and novelty detection at most age points. Habituation indices correlated across modalities at 1 month and 5 months but not 18 months of age, and novelty responses were significantly correlated at 5 months and 18 months, but not at 1 month. Infants who showed robust habituation responses also showed robust novelty responses across both assessment modalities. DISCUSSION: This study is the first to examine concurrent correlations across two neuroimaging modalities across several longitudinal age points. Examining habituation and novelty detection, we show that despite the use of two different testing modalities, stimuli and timescale, it is possible to extract common neural metrics across a wide age range in infants. We suggest that these positive correlations might be strongest at times of greatest developmental change.



EEG, Habituation, Neurodevelopment, Novelty detection, fNIRS, Child, Humans, Infant, Child, Preschool, Habituation, Psychophysiologic, Spectrum Analysis, Speech, Sound, Electroencephalography

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Elsevier BV
MRC (MR/S018425/1)
ESRC (ES/T008644/1)