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ISSN: 2329-8847

Journal of Aging Science
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Research Article

Brain Activity during Stereognostic Discrimination Using the Tongue Measured By Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

Shigenori Kawagishi1*, Toshiko Tanaka2, Kenichi Yoshino3 and Megumi Shimodozono4

1Department of Health Improvement, Kyushu Dental University, Kitakyushu, Japan

2Department of Physical Functions, Kyushu Dental University, Kitakyushu, Japan

3Department of Oral Health Management, School of Oral Health Sciences, Kyushu Dental University, Kitakyushu, Japan

4Department of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima, Japan

*Corresponding Author:
Shigenori Kawagishi
Department of Health Improvement
Kyushu Dental University, 2-6-1 Manazuru
Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8580,Japan
Tel: (+81)-93-285-3039
Fax: (+81)-93-582-6000
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: August 27, 2014; Accepted Date: September 22, 2014; Published Date: September 29, 2014

Citation: Kawagishi S, Toshiko T, Yoshino K , Shimodozono M (2014) Brain Activity during Stereognostic Discrimination Using the Tongue Measured By Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy. Aging Sci 2:128. doi: 10.4172/2329-8847.1000128

Copyright: © 2014 Kawagishi S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



We previously reported our investigation of the stereognostic ability of the tongue to recognize the shape and size of materials in the mouth and its clinical applications. In the present study, we observed brain activity while performing stereognostic discrimination using the tongue; the changes in levels of oxyhemoglobin (oxy-Hb), deoxyhemoglobin (deoxy-Hb), and total hemoglobin (total-Hb) in the frontal cortex area of 37 healthy individuals (18–75 years old) were measured using a functional near-infrared spectrometer with 45 channels. As an experimental task, the stereognostic test piece (TP) was placed on the center of the tongue dorsum, and subjects moved the TP for shape discrimination without letting it touch the teeth or gums. As a control task, subjects did not move the TP placed on the tongue. Stereognostic task-attributed changes in Hb levels were obtained by subtracting the Hb level of the control task from that of the experimental task. During the stereognostic task, oxy-Hb levels increased in the frontal cortex, including the prefrontal area, in most subjects. However, the results also demonstrated large individual variability. When the degree of change in Hb levels during the stereognostic task was mapped, it was found that the changes in the oxy- and total-Hb levels were similar, while the deoxy-Hb level did not change to the same degree. When subjects were divided into three groups, highly-, moderately- and mildlyincreased oxy-Hb levels, there was a significant negative correlation between age and degree of oxy-Hb level increase. The present study suggests stereognosis may be involved in several different information processing pathways, and that aging may also be a factor in the large variability we observed.


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