The sensitivity of the near-infrared spectroscopy signal to the brain activation depends on the thickness and structure of the superficial tissues. The influence of the frontal sinus, which is void region in the skull, on the sensitivity to the brain activation is investigated by the time-resolved experiments and the theoretical modelling of the light propagation in the head. In the time-resolved experiments, the mean-time of flight for the forehead scarcely depends upon the existence of the frontal sinus when probe spacing was shorter than 30 mm. The partial optical path length in the brain, which indicates the sensitivity of the near-infrared spectroscopy signal to the brain activation, in a simplified head model is predicted by Monte Carlo simulation. The influence of the frontal sinus on the sensitivity of the signal depends on the thickness of the skull and the depth of the frontal sinus.