NIRS fMRI translating fMRI to fNIRS

Tuesday, 15 de March de 2022

NIRS fMRI translating fMRI to fNIRS

NIRxBorealis translating fMRI to fNIRS

A great wealth of knowledge and understanding has been generated by the fMRI community over the years. A lot of research is currently being conducted to ensure findings are translated into clinical application. However, these findings and therefore their impact are limited by the accessibility and cost of fMRI technology. This is a great opportunity to translate findings from fMRI to fNIRS. NIRxBorealis was designed in collaboration with leading fMRI researchers to facilitate this endeavor.


NIRx custom builds the NIRxBorealis to combine the NIRx flagship NIRSport2 amplifiers with fiber-based laser stimulation and ADP detectors. This allows concurrent fMRI and fNIRS recordings and then the co-analysis of fNIRS and fMRI results. It also allows directly running the very same fNIRS experiment fully mobile outside the scanner at a fraction of the cost.

NIRx collaborates with Brain Innovation to provide Satori, a powerful and easy-to-use analysis software. Satori has the same intuitive workflow as Brain Voyager, the gold standard commercial fMRI analysis software.

NIRSport2 fMRI


The use of optical fiber based optodes for combining fNIRS with fMRI serves impactful research applications, and combining the two modalities aids the validation of the complementary signals (see Scarapicchia et al., 2017 for review). Compared to the deoxy-Hb based signal of fMRI, fNIRS separately measures deoxy-Hb and oxy-Hb which provides further information about hemodynamics and can improve the fMRI signal quality (Cooper et al., 2012). Additionally, combined fNIRS-fMRI multimodal imaging studies can assess the congruence between full-body behaviors with fNIRS and analogous stationery designs with fMRI, thereby extending research into more ecologically valid and real world settings.


NIRxBorealis performs dual-wavelength continuous-wave fNIRS on large tissue structures at high (several Hz) sampling rates in a time-multiplexed, scanning fashion. The use of powerful laser sources and ultra-sensitive Avalanche Photodiode detectors allows for diffuse transmission measurements up to ~4 cm, making it suitable for optical tomographic ('multi-distance') imaging which extends the depth of recording. A sliding rack enclosure couples with the NIRSport2 devices streamlining the installation. Source and detector components are implemented as modular electronic cards, which can be extended for higher density recording. The device also features eight parallel optically isolated digital input channels for the acquisition of event trigger signals. Operation is provided through our highly user-friendly Aurora fNIRS software, and connected via USB. This research platform uses our proprietary ultra-fast set up sequence and signal optimization process. 

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Jackson Cionek

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