Preparing for a NIRS Scan

What is fNIRS?

Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is an increasingly popular technology for studying human brain function. NIRS systems are compact, have high temporal and spatial resolution and are cost effective. This makes functional NIRS (fNIRS) a leading neuroimaging modality to investigate brain function under more realistic, ecologically valid conditions and in settings not possible with most other functional neuroimaging techniques.

Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a specialized research imaging technique that uses near-infrared light to examine the function of the living brain. Research participants can be standing, sitting, lying down, or even engaged in active behaviors (walking, driving, exercising) while receiving an fNIRS scan. Small probes (plastic disks of about ¼ inch attached to optical fibers) are placed on the top of the head. There is no sensation of any kind from the infrared light, and it is not harmful. An actual fNIRS scan typically takes less than one hour. A participant might be asked to engage in a variety of activities during an fNIRS scan. Some activities might involve passively listening to sounds or seeing flashes, or performing learning, memory or other behavioral tasks. Participants might also be asked to play certain games or engage in activities on the computer or with a researcher during the scan.


SMI Eye Tracking Glasses 2

During the visit, you will also be wearing these cool glasses called the SMI Eye Tracking Glasses 2. 

They are designed to record a person's natural gaze behavior and puil data in realtime in a broad range of applications with outstanding robustness, mobility and ease of use.


CIBSR Biometrics Kit

We will also ask you to put on special stickers that measure your heart beat. These stickers are part of the Biometrics Kit.

The CIBSR Biometrics Kit is an Arduino-based physiological measurement tool with leads for electrocardiography and galvanic skin response, a three-axis accelerometer, and an upcoming pressure-based respiration belt. The kit’s overarching goal is to facilitate open, reproducible research through open-source hardware and software, as well as through transparent access to the underlying raw data streams. Real-time access to these data streams is possible through a Python library, allowing for active monitoring and feedback. Though broadly applicable, the kit was originally developed as a complement to near-infrared spectroscopic brain imaging. In that context, the acceleration data serves as a critical aid in motion artifact correction, while the cardiac, respiration, and galvanic skin response streams describe sympathetic nervous system response.

Our past participants had so much fun during their NIRS scan!