Connectivity Analysis under Mental Stress using fNIRS

Rateb Katmah, Fares Al-Shargie, Usman Tariq, Fabio Babiloni, Fadwa Al-Mughairbi, Hasan Al-Nashash

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)


Stress is a major cause of many mental, psychological, emotional, behavioral, and physical disorders. Therefore, early detection of stress can help prevent many ailments and improve human health. In this study, we used a modified Stroop Color Word Task (SCWT) with time pressure and negative feedback to elicit two levels of stress at the workplace. We then assessed the level of stress using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) with multiple machine learning classifiers. We analyzed the fNIRS signals using partial directed coherence (PDC) to estimate the effective connectivity network between brain regions under stress. Our results showed that the proposed stress task reduced the cognitive performance and altered the connectivity network on the frontal region. The left frontal and left dorsolateral regions showed significantly higher connectivity under stress, p<0.05. Meanwhile, the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) showed a significant decrease in the connectivity network under stress. We achieved the highest classification performance using support vector machine (SVM) with an average classification accuracy of 99.93%. Our results highlight using fNIRS with PDC at the frontal brain region as a potential biomarker for stress.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioSMART 2021 - Proceedings
Subtitle of host publication4th International Conference on Bio-Engineering for Smart Technologies
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781665408103
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event4th International Conference on Bio-Engineering for Smart Technologies, BioSMART 2021 - Paris, France
Duration: Dec 8 2021Dec 10 2021

Publication series

NameBioSMART 2021 - Proceedings: 4th International Conference on Bio-Engineering for Smart Technologies


Conference4th International Conference on Bio-Engineering for Smart Technologies, BioSMART 2021


  • Connectivity
  • Machine Learning
  • Mental Stress
  • PDC
  • SCWT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Media Technology


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