Long-Wave Infrared Functional Brain Imaging in Human: A Pilot Study

Christian C Joyal*, 1, Mylene Henry2
1 Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada
2 Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal, Canada

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© Joyal and Henry; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada; Tel: 819-376-5011; Fax: 819-376-5195; E-mail:


Although some authors suggest to use Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR) sensors to evaluate brain functioning, the link between emissions of LWIR and mental effort is not established. The goal of this pilot study was to determine whether frontal LWIR emissions vary during execution of neuropsychological tasks known to differentially activate the pre-frontal cortex (simple color presentations, induction of the Stroop effect, and a gambling task with real money). Surprisingly, LWIR emissions as measured with bilateral frontal sensors in 47 participants significantly differed between tasks, in the supposed direction (Color<Stroop<Gambling), in spite of counterbalanced presentations. This pilot study suggests that investigations of convergent validity with other types of brain imaging techniques can be initiated with LWIR imaging. If confirmed, this technique would offer a simple and accessible method to evaluate frontal cortex activation.

Keywords: Long-wave, passive, infrared, brain imaging.