Recommendations for motion correction of infant fNIRS data applicable to multiple data sets and acquisition systems

Renata Di Lorenzo, Laura Pirazzoli, Anna Blasi, Chiara Bulgarelli, Yoko Hakuno, Yasuyo Minagawa, Sabrina Brigadoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Despite motion artifacts are a major source of noise in fNIRS infant data, how to approach motion correction in this population has only recently started to be investigated. Homer2 offers a wide range of motion correction methods and previous work on simulated and adult data suggested the use of Spline interpolation and Wavelet filtering as optimal methods for the recovery of trials affected by motion. However, motion artifacts in infant data differ from those in adults’ both in amplitude and frequency of occurrence. Therefore, artifact correction recommendations derived from adult data might not be optimal for infant data. We hypothesized that the combined use of Spline and Wavelet would outperform their individual use on data with complex profiles of motion artifacts. To demonstrate this, we first compared, on infant semi-simulated data, the performance of several motion correction techniques on their own and of the novel combined approach; then, we investigated the performance of Spline and Wavelet alone and in combination on real cognitive data from three datasets collected with infants of different ages (5, 7 and 10 months), with different tasks (auditory, visual and tactile) and with different NIRS systems. To quantitatively estimate and compare the efficacy of these techniques, we adopted four metrics: hemodynamic response recovery error, within-subject standard deviation, between-subjects standard deviation and number of trials that survived each correction method. Our results demonstrated that (i) it is always better correcting for motion artifacts than rejecting the corrupted trials; (ii) Wavelet filtering on its own and in combination with Spline interpolation seems to be the most effective approach in reducing the between- and the within-subject standard deviations. Importantly, the combination of Spline and Wavelet was the approach providing the best performance in semi-simulation both at low and high levels of noise, also recovering most of the trials affected by motion artifacts across all datasets, a crucial result when working with infant data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-527
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 15


  • Infants
  • Motion correction
  • Semi-simulated data
  • fNIRS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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