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Bifold Colloquium 02/27/2023


February 27, 2023 Icon 16:00 - 16:45


TU Berlin H0107


David Boas

30 Years of imaging the brain with fNIRS

Recent progress and upcoming opportunities for data science


During his presentation, David Boas will provide a brief historical overview of the first 30 years of the development of functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) for measuring human brain activity, with a focus on the rapid advances over the last five years. The last five years have seen tremendous advances in the capabilities of wearable fNIRS systems and the ecologically valid studies that can be done with such systems. It is rapidly becoming possible to measure brain function alone and in combination with other biometric sensors in the everyday world. The rest of the talk will start a discussion on the impact this could have on, for instance, brain science studies of social interactions, clinical investigation of the evolution of neurodegeneration and its impact on a person’s ability to interact with the world around them, and the propagation to consumer devices for those who want another health monitor to help guide their wellness.  But, moving from studies in well controlled laboratory settings to the less controlled environment of the everyday world presents multiple challenges spanning signal processing, data fusion and interpretation, and privacy. We will discuss the data science challenges that need to be addressed to advance this exciting technology into the everyday world.


Prof. David Boas
© Boas
Prof. David Boas

David Boas, Ph.D. is Director of the Neurophotonics Center and the Arthur G.B. Metcalf Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. Between 1998 and 2017 he led the Optics Division of the Martinos Center of Biomedical Imaging at Mass. General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He received his BS in Physics at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and PhD in Physics at the University of Pennsylvania. During his academic career, he has supervised more than 50 students and post-doctoral fellows, and he has published over 300 papers that have received over 49,000 citations and an h-index of 118. He is the founding President of the Society for Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy and founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Neurophotonics published by SPIE. Dr. Boas was awarded the Britton Chance Award in Biomedical Optics in 2016 for his development of several novel, high-impact biomedical optical technologies in the neurosciences, as well as following through with impactful application studies, and fostering the widespread adoption of these technologies. He was elected a Fellow of AIMBE, SPIE, and OSA in 2017.