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Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana

On-line version ISSN 2075-9479


SCHERER, Lilian Cristine; KAHLAOUI, Karima  and  ANSALDO, Ana Inés. Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS): the technique and its application in language studies. Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana [online]. 2009, vol.1, n.1, pp. 57-62. ISSN 2075-9479.

In the past years, especially since the 1990s, a period known as "the decade of the brain", several scientific research fields have turned their focus to research correlated with cerebral functioning. These studies have been fostered by the application of ever refining neuroimaging techniques, which generated a new scenario in neurocognitive sciences. Data derived from these studies have been gradually confronted to the theoretical bases developed so far, corroborating or challenging them, leading to new reflections and causing science to advance with empirical data on cerebral functioning registered in vivo. A great array of neuroimaging techniques is available to researchers nowadays, each one with its singularities. This article aims to highlight the application of an emergent and promising neuroimaging technique, functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), in the studies of human cognition. The main characteristics of the technique, its functioning, advantages and limitations, as well as its applications, especially in language studies, will be presented. Evidence brought by fNIRS research demonstrates the validity of the technique for the study of several aspects of human cognition. Moreover, multimodality has frequently been a tendency in these studies, by the simultaneous data collection by fNIRS and other neuroimaging technique, as a means of corroborating results and incrementing data analysis.

Keywords : Neuroimage; Multimodality; fNIRS; Cognition; Language.

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