An essential webinar for all BCI researchers: fNIRS enables the read out of voluntarily controlled brain states in real time and opens a communication channel with completely locked-in patients, otherwise isolated from the external world.

Neural activity is accompanied by a hemodynamic (vascular) responses that is sensitive to a host of features of coordinated brain function. Relating these measures to the seemingly endless breadth of human behavior is a principal aim of many scientific investigations. Fortunately, learning, language acquisition, sensory and motor functions, emotion, social interactions, and the influence of a host of disease processes can all be explored from measures of the functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) signal. Wearable fNIRS technology exists that is portable, safe and easy to use, resistant to motion artifacts and can be employed in a subjects natural environment.

A promising application for fNIRS is the design of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) for communication with completely locked-in patients. In the so called ‘locked-in’ state, fully conscious and awake patients are unable to communicate naturally due to severe motor paralysis. These patients are, however, able to modulate their brain activity which can be decoded and understood by exploring the fNIRS signal.

In this exclusive webinar sponsored by NIRx Medical Technologies, discussion will focus on the basic principles of fNIRS and BCI, technical setup and guidelines for running a successful fNIRS study and a comparison of fNIRS with other functional neuroimaging methods. Experts will highlight their groundbreaking research in the field of fNIRS based BCI for communication with healthy subjects and patients in a completely locked-in state. Specifically, Dr. Ujwal Chaudhary (University of Tübingen) will share results of his research with healthy participants and patients with locked-in syndrome due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Dr. Bettina Sorger (Maastricht University) will present data from a recent study demonstrating the feasibility of a multiple-choice fNIRS-based communication BCI using differently-timed motor imagery as an information-encoding strategy.

Click to watch the webinar recording. To view the presentation full screen simply click the square icon located in the bottom-right corner of the video-viewer.


To retrieve a PDF copy of the presentation, click on the link below the slide player. From this page, click on the “Download” link to retrieve the file.


Assistant Professor
Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience
Maastricht University

Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Tübingen

Production Partner

NIRx Medical Technologies, LLC

NIRx Medical Technologies, LLC. is a world-leader in providing integrated solutions for NIRS tomographic imaging. In 1988, we introduced the concept of tomographic imaging in dense scattering media based on diffusely scattered light. This approach has since been widely adapted and has served to launch the modern day field NIRS tomography.

Related Content