fNIRS Optical Brain Imaging
Affordable Cognitive Assessment for Your Classroom
Ideal for advanced life science learning or cognitive assessment research, fNIRS functional near-infrared spectroscopy optical imaging systems measure oxygen level changes in the prefrontal cortex of human subjects. Each fNIR system provides real-time monitoring of tissue oxygenation in the brain as subjects take tests, perform tasks, or receive stimulation and allows researchers to quantitatively assess brain functions—such as attention, memory, planning, and problem solving—while individuals perform cognitive tasks. The fNIRS device provides relative change in hemoglobin levels, calculated using a modified Beer-Lambert law.
The powerful fNIR spectroscopy imaging tool measures NIR light absorbance in blood of hemoglobin with and without oxygen and provides information about ongoing brain activity similar to functional MRI studies. It eliminates many of the drawbacks of fMRI and provides a safe, affordable, noninvasive solution for cognitive function assessment. The technology empowers researchers and life science educators by providing greater flexibility for study design, including working within complex lab environments and operating in non-traditional lab or other learning environments for field studies.
The fNIRS device can produce digital TTL output signal through the BNC output port to synchronize any external device with data acquisition events.
Benefits of fNIRS Neuroimaging:
- fNIRS is the only stand-alone and field-deployable technology able to determine localized brain activity
- fNIRS can be readily integrated with other physiological and neurobehavioral measures that assess human brain activity, including eye tracking, pupil reflex, respiration and electrodermal activity; fNIRS can also complement other techniques
- Studies have shown a positive correlation between a participant’s performance and fNIR responses as a function of task load
- It has also been shown that fNIRS can effectively monitor attention and working memory in real-life situations
- The fNIRS functional imaging technique gives information about the hemodynamic activity of the cerebral cortex directly underlying a specified source-detector pair; source-signal localization is well defined and measured light intensity reveals the association with hemodynamic changes within ~1-1.5 cm distance from center of source-detector arrangement
To learn more about fNIRS technology and applications
- Read fNIRS FAQ for answers to frequently asked questions
- Review fNIRS articles (PDF) and Citations
- Watch the introduction to fNIRS Technology video article from Journal of Visualized Experiments
(Ayaz, H., Shewokis, P. A., Curtin, A., Izzetoglu, M., Izzetoglu, K., Onaral, B. Using MazeSuite and Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy to Study Learning in Spatial Navigation. J. Vis. Exp. (56), e 3443, DOI: 10.3791/3443 (2011))