National Brain Mapping Lab

The First National fNIRS Data Analysis Competition Focusing on Working Memory

Time 2021-05-05
Place NBML
Price Free

National Brain Mapping Laboratory (NBML) will hold: 

The First National fNIRS Data Analysis Competition Focusing on Working Memory 

Scientific Secretaries: Dr. Gholam-Ali HOSSEINZADEH & Dr. Zahra EINALOU

Executive Secretary (Administrative Assistant): Dr. Hossein GHADIRI

Administration Managers: Ms. Shima GOLBARG & Mr. Mohsen DADJOU

Administrative Officials: Mr. Majid ABBASI, Ms. Sousan KOHZAD, Ms. Zahra SHIRZADI, Ms. Sepideh REZAEI

Whereas hemodynamic changes of the brain are directly related to neural activities, recently, functional near-infrared spectroscopy(fNIRS) has been widely used to monitor changes of oxyhemoglobin/ deoxyhemoglobin concentration resulted from functional activities and, in fact, to indirectly monitor neural activities in target brain tissue. Nowadays, functional near-infrared spectroscopy(fNIRS)  systems are introduced as portable and non-invasive monitoring systems having the capability of repeating the test many times on the sample and, they have been considered by neuroscientists as a new modality for recording brain activities. This modern equipment allows researchers to study the cognitive functions of the brain such as: attention, decision making, reasoning, working memory, problem solving and planning which are mostly occurred in the prefrontal cortex, while performing cognitive tasks.

Working memory is an important part of cognitive function that is the basis for learning and memory, having a close relationship with other cognitive behaviors. The cognitive functions of the brain like language, perception, planning, reasoning, and problem solving require working memory. The capacity of working memory is limited for each person, but it can be trained to be more effective in storing information. Many studies have revealed that the brain regions activated in working memory are mainly located in the prefrontal cortex that plays an important role on working memory function.


Objectives of the Competition:

Some objectives of the competition are as follows:

  • Introducing the technology of functional near-infrared spectroscopy(fNIRS) to the researchers
  • Interdisciplinary partnership, collaboration and synergy
  • Combining valuable experiences of experts to classify different levels of mental workload and speed increase automatically
  • Extracting the best feature to quantify and categorize different levels of working memory workload

The Mode of Holding the Competition in this Course:

In the first period, the competition will be conducted in two stages on the registered data while performing working memory test. In the first stage, the participants will be provided with some labeled data. The data have been recorded from different people.  Such data are used to train or calculate model parameters (statistical or artificial neural networks for classification). Unlabeled data will then be provided to participants to evaluate the methods. The participants will announce evaluation data labels and based on the accuracy and precision results, the selected teams will be invited to in person(face-to-face) competition (second stage). In the face-to-face stage, a number of unlabeled data will be provided to the participants, in which not only the accuracy, but also the speed of announcement of the answer may affect the final result.

Terms of Participation in the Competition:

The competition is open to all researchers.

  • Interested persons should enroll in the competition in 1 to 5-person groups and specify the members of their group.
  • Programming codes may also be examined in examining participants' algorithms.
  • The algorithms implementation environment is open for participant.


Important Dates:

Enrollment Commencement: March 06, 2021

Style Guide Publication and Data Delivery: April 03, 2021

Deadline for Submitting the Results of the First Stage: May 05, 2021

Results Announcement of the First Stage: May 29, 2021

Face-to-face Competition (Second Stage): June 08, 2021

Announcement of Final Results and Awarding of Prizes: Simultaneously with the fifth symposium of Iranian Brain Mapping news


The First Group (Winner): Rls. 65,000,000/- in cash + 1000 points of the Researchers Club

The second Group: Rls. 40,000,000/- in cash + 600 points of the Researchers Club

The Third Group: Rls. 25,000,000/- in cash + 400 points of the Researchers Club