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SfNIRS Newsletter March 2023

Welcome to the March 2023 issue of the SfNIRS newsletter, covering the period from May 2022 (yes, May 2022!) to February 2023. It has been almost a year! During this time, the pandemic has ended for the majority of us and most are back on campus, we have our most successful conference to date in Boston, and we have already started working on the next one, which will take place in Birmingham. Ten months is a lot; not surprisingly, we have a lot of material and stories to share.

fNIRS 2024 in Birmingham
Preparations for fNIRS 2024 are underway, with the first checkboxes being ticked. Reserve the dates: September 11th to 15th, 2024.
By Erin Buckley, Hamid Dehghani, Javier Andreu-Pérez and Felipe Orihuela-Espina.

fNIRS 2022 Wrap-up from Boston
After two rounds of extensions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, fNIRS2022, the Biennial Official Meeting of the Society for functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (SfNIRS) was held in Boston from October 9-12, 2022.

Continue Reading
By Ippeita Dan.

Standardization committee

  • We have populated the sfNIRS website with info on hardware performance assessment and optical properties.
  • We have tested the fNIRS phantom proposed by Hiroshi Kawaguchi AIST (KK) and described in the ISO/IEC fNIRS standard (a round-robin experiment still ongoing involving PTB Berlin, NIRX Berlin, Artinis Medical Systems, Biopixs, PIONIRS, Politecnico di Milano).
  • We have contributed to the fNIRS Glossary Project entering now in Phase2 (see below).
  • We will contribute to the ManyBabyNirs project coordinated by Judit Gervain aiming at testing the hardware in the different labs. 

By Alessandro Torricelli.

DEI Committee
The first year of the SfNIRS DEI Committee was an “action-packed” beginning.  The membership was established, and the mission statement was approved by the Board of Directors.  An application and selection process for travel awards to attend the biennial Society meeting in Boston 2022 was implemented for candidates who qualified for DEI status. (The committee is very appreciative of Mari’s efforts to secure the NIH funding).  Twelve awards were distributed at the meeting.  Members of the committee (Meredith Pecukonis and Claudio Ferre) lead the development and distribution of a DEI survey which was presented as a poster and discussion hub at the meeting.  The committee plans to summarize and distribute the results of the survey later in the year.  A Google drive was created by Guy Perkins for use by the committee and also to assist communications with the Education committee.  The DEI and Education committees plan their first joint meeting on April 3, 2023 to combine common efforts.  The DEI committee has planned monthly meetings for 2023 in order to prepare for the SfNIRS 2024 meeting in Birmingham.  Agenda items include fundraising to assist more candidates to attend the meeting and to take advantage of educational opportunities.  Lessons learned from the inaugural year include the advantages of early planning for travel since several winners of DEI awards did not have time to acquire travel visas last year.  Discussions within the committee favor continuation of the hybrid meeting format to extend opportunities for virtual attendance to those who cannot secure visas and permissions for international travel.
By Joy Hirsh.

Clipart: http://clipart-library.com/clipart/998762.htm

Communications Committee
The communications committee renovated a lot of its members last year. Ippeita Dan became the new co-chair of the committee, and we also incorporated other members like Louisa Gosse, Guy Perkins and Samuel Montero. We have as usual been supporting other committees and members of our community maintaining activity across the social networks, keeping the YouTube channel with the most recent videos (including those of fNIRS 2022 sessions), and preparing internal documentation for the production of the newsletter (in the form of video-guides).
By Heather Bortfeld, Ippeita Dan and Felipe Orihuela-Espina.

Education Committee
We are looking for speakers to present in the online research webinars. Are you a young researcher with groundbreaking research to share with the #fnirs community? Are you eager to discuss the latest findings in fNIRS? 

Join our vibrant community and volunteer to speak in our online research webinar series. Share your insights, engage in lively discussions, and expand your network of colleagues and collaborators. 

Contact Rickson Mesquita at rmesquit@unicamp.br to volunteer as a speaker at our upcoming webinar series, and let’s explore the frontiers of #fnirs research together!

PS: Not a young researcher? That’s fine – you can still contact Rickson and nominate a young researcher to showcase work in your lab! :) 

By Judit Gervain and Rickson Mesquita

fNIRS-UK 2023 at the University of Essex
fNIRS-UK 2023 has been endorsed by the Society. The meeting will be held 14-15 September, 2023 at the University of Essex in Colchester, UK.
Continue reading
By Javier Andreu-Pérez.

fNIRS in the Social media
We are looking for contributions to our “fNIRS in the Lab” photo series! Do you have a fun(ny) picture of your fNIRS set-up? Or want to share what your fNIRS testing looks like with the fNIRS community? 

Send us your photo(s) along with a short description of what it is you are studying (and where)! We will share with Society members in the coming weeks on our social media pages.

Continue reading
By Louisa Gossé.

Sneak peeks
As our community has grown considerably over the years, it’s worth taking a step back to explore the many different, and perhaps surprising, research avenues in our field. Here we review several different uses of fNIRS in animal research, including opportunities for using fNIRS in animal monitoring.

Continue reading

By Rens Burghardt.

BIDS-fNIRS (bfnirs) in the Cloud

The fNIRS community has established the SNIRF file format for fNIRS data, and this format has now been incorporated into the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS) standard for the organization of neuroimaging datasets. Now the fNIRS community should endeavor to broadly adopt this dataset organization specification. The full specification is accessible directly at https://bids.neuroimaging.io/ and also through https://openneuro.org.

Continue reading.

By Meryem Yücel and David Boas.

FRESH, fNIRS REproducibility Study Hub
Thanks to so many fNIRS research groups who have joined the FRESH project, we now have hypotheses testing results of the same datasets from ~40 different groups. Sneak Peek: quite some variability in the results! Now we are at phase II of the study where we are asking each group to fill out a form to collect detailed information about their analysis steps. We, then, will be able to see if there are certain analysis methods or parameter choices that can explain this variation. More soon, please stay tuned!

By FRESH Steering Committee

fNIRS Glossary Project
Under the fNIRS Glossary project, we are developing a community-consensus based glossary of the commonly used terms in the functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) research and its sister technologies. Around 50 researchers from among the fNIRS community already contributed to more than 150 glossary entries! We are now sharing these definitions with the broader Glossary community for review. We are also organizing a hackathon event soon to discuss and resolve conflicting issues, see some of you there!

By Glossary Steering Committee

Upcoming Special issues

By Sergio Novi.

fNIRS in the News

By Sabrina Brigadoi.

Exciting news! 2023 has a number of conferences. Just for you, we’ve put together a list of those that look to be the best/most relevant to our community. Check them out on our website.

Also remember to add your events by filling this form or sending the information about it to commcomm@fnirs.org.

By Sergio Novi

Jobs postings
As we do every newsletter, we have updated our list of job opportunities for this period. Remember to announce your job advertisements on the SfNIRS Facebook group page or on Twitter using the hashtag #fNIRS or sending us an e-mail. Keep sending us your job offers for posting!!

fNIRS publications
Check Felix’s fantastic summary and the PubMed reformatted searches here. Keep yourself up-to-date on the latest fNIRS publications. Remember to announce your publications on the SfNIRS Facebook group page or Twitter using the hashtag #fNIRS.
By Felix Scholkmann and Felipe Orihuela-Espina.

Disclaimer: While we encourage translation of fNIRS technology to commercial products by our members, neither the Communication Committee nor the Society for fNIRS endorse any for-profit or non-profit entities. We do not receive compensation for reporting news about commercial products.

The Communication Committee © The Society for functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy