NIRSTORM is a plugin dedicated for fNIRS data analysis, built upon Brainstorm, an internationally recognized software for EEG/MEG processing, featuring advanced databasing, visualization, signal processing, source localization and statistical analysis methods. The purpose of this mini-course is to introduce NIRSTORM as a user-friendly and fully complete environment dedicated to fNIRS statistical analysis. The first section will be dedicated to beginners, introducing NIRSTORM database, data importation and classical channel-space fNIRS processing (band pass filtering, Modified Beer-Lambert Law, motion correction and window averaging). Most recent updates will then be presented: General Linear Model based statistical analyses (auto- regressive/precoloring model, mixed-effect group level analysis) to provide statistics of the hemodynamic response either in the channel space or along the cortical surface after 3D reconstruction. Finally, we will present the most advanced NIRSTORM features, such as the integration of MCXLab software [Fang and Boas Opt. Express 2009] to estimate light sensitivity profiles within anatomical head models, our method allowing personalized optimal montage design targeting a predefined brain region [Machado et al JNS-Methods 2018] and advanced 3D reconstructions using Maximum Entropy on the Mean.
The course will consist in hands-on sessions, fNIRS data sets dedicated for the training will be made available to the participants.
1:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Introductory lecture: NIRS data acquisition, Montage design and 3D reconstructions 101 Christophe Grova, PERFORM Centre, Concordia University
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Introduction of NIRSTORM and NIRS data processing
Database organization in Brainstorm and fNIRS data importation
Standard fNIRS preprocessing and quality check (co-registration, filtering, Modified Beer Lambert law, motion correction, block averaging)
Statistical analysis of the hemodynamic response: General Linear Model at the single subject level and at the group level, at the level of the sensors and after 3D reconstruction along the cortical surface
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Advanced NIRS data processing
fNIRS forward model through MCXLab, using head models derived either from a standard template MRI (Colin 27) or a subject-specific MRI.
Personalized optimal montage design targeting a predefined brain region. This method consists in maximizing light sensitivity to the target region, while ensuring spatial overlap between sensors to allow local 3D reconstruction [Machado et al JNS-Meth. 2018, Pellegrino et al Front. Neurosc. 2016].
Advanced 3D reconstruction methods, inspired from methods developed for EEG/MEG source imaging, notably within the Maximum Entropy on the Mean framework.
5:00 – 5:30 p.m.
At the end of the session, participants will be able to use efficiently the GUI of Brainstorm and NIRSTORM to perform standard fNIRS processing, statistical analysis through GLM approaches and more advanced features such as tomographic reconstructions and optimal montage design.
You are expected to bring a laptop with Matlab and NIRSTORM installed.
Detailed instructions and training datasets will be provided before the course.