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Toward Neuroscience of the Everyday World (NEW) using functional near-infrared spectroscopy

Alexander von Lühmann
Yilei Zheng
Antonio Ortega-Martinez
Swathi Kiran
David C. Somers
Alice Cronin-Golomb
Louis N. Awad
Terry D. Ellis
David A. Boas
Meryem A. Yücel

June 01, 2021

Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) assesses human brain activity by noninvasively measuring changes of cerebral hemoglobin concentrations caused by modulation of neuronal activity. Recent progress in signal processing and advances in system design, such as miniaturization, wearability, and system sensitivity, have strengthened fNIRS as a viable and cost-effective complement to functional magnetic resonance imaging, expanding the repertoire of experimental studies that can be performed by the neuroscience community. The availability of fNIRS and electroencephalography for routine, increasingly unconstrained, and mobile brain imaging is leading toward a new domain that we term “Neuroscience of the Everyday World” (NEW). In this light, we review recent advances in hardware, study design, and signal processing, and discuss challenges and future directions toward achieving NEW.