Attention deficits due to auditory distractibility are pervasive among patients with acquired brain injury (ABI). It remains unclear, however, whether attention deficits following ABI specific to auditory modality are associated with altered haemodynamic responses. Here, we examined cerebral haemodynamic changes using functional near-infrared spectroscopy combined with a topological vector-based analysis method. A total of thirty-seven participants (22 healthy adults, 15 patients with ABI) performed a melodic contour identification task (CIT) that simulates auditory distractibility. Findings demonstrated that the melodic CIT was able to detect auditory distractibility in patients with ABI. The rate-corrected score showed that the ABI group performed significantly worse than the non-ABI group in both CIT1 (target contour identification against environmental sounds) and CIT2 (target contour identification against target-like distraction). Phase-associated response intensity during the CITs was greater in the ABI group than in the non-ABI group. Moreover, there existed a significant interaction effect in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during CIT1 and CIT2. These findings indicated that stronger hemodynamic responses involving oxygen exchange in the left DLPFC can serve as a biomarker for evaluating and monitoring auditory distractibility, which could potentially lead to the discovery of the underlying mechanism that causes auditory attention deficits in patients with ABI.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean government (NRF-2018R1C1B5044305).
© 2018, The Author(s).