Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) enables the non-invasive measurement of changes in hemodynamics and oxygenation in tissue. Changes in light-coupling due to movement of the subject can cause movement artifacts (MAs) in the recorded signals. Several methods have been developed so far that facilitate the detection and reduction of MAs in the data. However, due to fixed parameter values (e.g., global threshold) none of these methods are perfectly suitable for long-term (i.e
., hours) recordings or were not time-effective when applied to large datasets. We aimed to overcome these limitations by automation, i.e.
, data adaptive thresholding specifically designed for long-term measurements, and by introducing a stable long-term signal reconstruction. Our new technique (“acceleration-based movement artifact reduction algorithm”, AMARA) is based on combining two methods: the “movement artifact reduction algorithm” (MARA, Scholkmann et al. Phys. Meas.
, 649–662), and the “accelerometer-based motion artifact removal” (ABAMAR, Virtanen et al. J. Biomed. Opt
. 2011, 16
, 087005). We describe AMARA in detail and report about successful validation of the algorithm using empirical NIRS data, measured over the prefrontal cortex in adolescents during sleep. In addition, we compared the performance of AMARA to that of MARA and ABAMAR based on validation data.