Developments in wearable human medical and sports health trackers has offered new solutions to challenges encountered by eco-physiologists attempting to measure physiological attributes in freely moving animals. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is one such solution that has potential as a powerful physio-logging tool to assess physiology in freely moving animals. NIRS is a non-invasive optics-based technology, that uses non-ionizing radiation to illuminate biological tissue and measures changes in oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin concentrations inside tissues such as skin, muscle, and the brain. The overall footprint of the device is small enough to be deployed in wearable physio-logging devices. We show that changes in hemoglobin concentration can be recorded from bottlenose dolphins and gray seals with signal quality comparable to that achieved in human recordings. We further discuss functionality, benefits, and limitations of NIRS as a standard tool for animal care and wildlife tracking for the marine mammal research community.
AbstractPrism Adaptation (PA) is used to alleviate spatial neglect. We combined immersive virtual reality with a depth-sensing camera to develop virtual prism adaptation therapy (VPAT), which block external visual cues and easily quantify and monitor errors than conventional PA. We conducted a feasibility study to investigate whether VPAT can induce behavioral adaptations by measuring after-effect and identifying which cortical areas were most significantly activated during VPAT using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Fourteen healthy subjects participated in this study. The experiment consisted of four sequential phases (pre-VPAT, VPAT-10°, VPAT-20°, and post-VPAT). To compare the most significantly activated cortical areas during pointing in different phases against pointing during the pre-VPAT phase, we analyzed changes in oxyhemoglobin concentration using fNIRS during pointing. The pointing errors of the virtual hand deviated to the right-side during early pointing blocks in the VPAT-10° and VPAT-20° phases. There was a left-side deviation of the real hand to the target in the post-VPAT phase, demonstrating after-effect. The most significantly activated channels during pointing tasks were located in the right hemisphere, and possible corresponding cortical areas included the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and frontal eye field. In conclusion, VPAT may induce behavioral adaptation with modulation of the dorsal attentional network.
The use of near-infrared spectroscopy could be an interesting alternative to other invasive or expensive methods to estimate the second lactate threshold. Our objective was to compare the intensities of the muscle oxygen saturation breakpoint obtained with the Humon Hex and the second lactate threshold in elite cyclists. Ninety cyclists performed a maximal graded exercise test. Blood capillary lactate was obtained at the end of steps and muscle oxygenation was continuously monitored. There were no differences (p>0.05) between muscle oxygen oxygenation breakpoint and second lactate threshold neither in power nor in heart rate, nor when these values were relativized as a percentage of maximal aerobic power or maximum heart rate. There were also no differences when men and women were studied separately. Both methods showed a highly correlation in power (r=0.914), percentage of maximal aerobic power (r=0.752), heart rate (r=0.955), and percentage of maximum heart rate (r=0.903). Bland-Altman resulted in a mean difference of 0.05±0.27 W·kg–1, 0.91±4.93%, 0.63±3.25 bpm, and 0.32±1.69% for power, percentage of maximal aerobic power, heart rate and percentage of maximum heart rate respectively. These findings suggest that Humon may be a non-invasive and low-cost alternative to estimate the second lactate threshold intensity in elite cyclists.