The Introduction to fNIRS workshop, co-hosted on October 5th and 6th by NIRx Medical Technologies and the Multimodal Neuroimaging Initiative, convened 54 participants from 13 different universities across the country, including California State University, George Washington University, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. Several UT campuses were also represented, as well as the our own UT Austin Departments of Neuroscience, Kineseology and Health Education, Psychology, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Mechanical Engineering, and the Steve Hicks School of Social Work.
Thomas Johannsen, NIRx Technical Sales Manager, introduces the NIRS hardware and software on Day 1 of the workshop.
During the course of the workshop, Prof. Ted Huppert from the University of Pittsburgh covered the history and motivation behind the development of fNIRS technology and highlighted many years of previous work experimentally validating fNIRS with other neuroimaging modalities including MRI, EEG and MEG. The NIRx team performed a demonstration of the NIRS system with a finger tapping experiment, starting from equipment setup all the way through data analysis using their software suite. They also introduced their highly mobile, backpack-based NIRSport system and new accessories for improving data collection.
On the second day, Prof. Huppert gave two lectures on advanced fNIRS data analyses and tools, presenting his research on multimodal neuroimaging, combining fNIRS with fMRI and MEG. These lectures also discussed the latest challenges in experimental design and data analysis, and he gave a tutorial on the new NIRS Toolbox software suite for fNIRS data processing and analysis.
Left: Prof. Huppert gives a lecture on multimodal imaging, combining simultaneous fMRI and fNIRS measurements
Two members of UT’s Multimodal Neuroimaging Initiative also presented at the workshop. Dr. Benjamin Zinszer (Research Associate, Communication Sciences and Disorders) presented his research using multivariate pattern analysis for fNIRS to decode mental representations of words, images, and sounds from infant and adult brains. Prof. James Sulzer (Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering) addressed issues with existing experimental hardware and presented the new 3D printed custom cap montages currently being developed at UT to make data collection more flexible for the experimenter and comfortable for the participant.
NIRx has kindly provided videos from this workshop (embedded below) for anyone who might have missed it.
The UT Multimodal Neuroimaging Initiative would like to thank NIRx for their partnership in planning and hosting this workshop, the Moody College of Communication for use of their facilities, and our many colleagues here at UT Austin for helping to make this workshop a great success. We look forward to sharing more training and development opportunities in the near future.
Liberty Hamilton (Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, left), Rachel Reetzke (PhD Candidate, CSD, center), and Benjamin Zinszer (Research Associate, CSD, right) greet conference attendees at the registration desk.
Experimental Design tutorial (Slides, 4.2MB PDF)
Multimodal Neuroimaging (Slides, 5.5MB PDF)