Liu Z, Zhang M, Xu G, et al. Effective Connectivity Analysis of the Brain Network in Drivers during Actual Driving Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy[J]. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2017, 11.
Effective Connectivity Analysis of the Brain Network in Drivers during Actual Driving Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy
1Key Laboratory of High Efficiency and Clean Mechanical Manufacture, School of Mechanical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan, China,
2Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong,
3Beijing Key Laboratory of Rehabilitation Technical Aids for Old-Age Disability, National Research Center for Rehabilitation Technical Aids, Beijing, China,
4Key Laboratory of Rehabilitation Aids Technology and System of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Beijing, China
Spectroscopy. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 11:211. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00211
Driving a vehicle is a complex activity that requires high-level brain functions. This study aimed to assess the change in effective connectivity (EC) between the prefrontal cortex (PFC), motor-related areas (MA) and vision-related areas (VA) in the brain network among the resting, simple-driving and car-following states. Twelve young male right- handed adults were recruited to participate in an actual driving experiment. The brain delta [HbO2] signals were continuously recorded using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) instruments. The conditional Granger causality (GC) analysis, which is a data-driven method that can explore the causal interactions among different brain areas, was performed to evaluate the EC. The results demonstrated that the hemodynamic activity level of the brain increased with an increase in the cognitive workload. The connection strength among PFC, MA and VA increased from the resting state to the simple-driving state, whereas the connection strength relatively decreased during the car-following task. The PFC in EC appeared as the causal target, while the MA and VA appeared as the causal sources. However, l-MA turned into causal targets with the subtask of car-following. These findings indicate that the hemodynamic activity level of the cerebral cortex increases linearly with increasing cognitive workload. The EC of the brain network can be strengthened by a cognitive workload, but also can be weakened by a superfluous cognitive workload such as driving with subtasks.
Keywords: near-infrared spectroscopy, effective connectivity, Granger causality, actual driving, cognitive workload