Abstract

Portable functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) devices are emerging as successful imaging techniques to monitor hemodynamic brain activities of freely moving patients. However, extended periods of monitoring sessions in natural environments are consistently challenged with movement artifacts and signal attenuation in addition to patient discomfort, particularly when faced with monitoring sessions exceeding 2 h. This is mostly due to the brain–device interface design, the fNIRS cap. To accurately assess the significance of fNIRS caps within the system, it is important to distinguish between technological development margins, as in artifacts that can be eliminated by better electronic components or more sophisticated data filtration/analysis algorithms, and inherent limitations of the system that need to be identified to clearly define the type of support needed for this application. This paper examines the basics of fNIRS technology to discern these factors and define the exact role of fNIRS caps as an essential part of this monitoring device. It also presents a review of available caps and possible future solutions that can be used on freely moving patients.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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