Author Archives: Felipe Orihuela-Espina

SfNIRS Newsletter June 2019

Welcome to the June 2019 issue of the SfNIRS newsletter. This newsletter covers the period since our last newsletter, which came out in March 2019. The amount of news that our community has generated in this period is hard to fit into our newsletter. Here is our best effort at summarizing it all. We hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we did preparing it!

The Society in the social networks
An executive summary of your social network posts.
Continue reading.
By you!

fNIRS 2020 update
Latest updates on how preparations are evolving for the Society’s next biennial meeting: Prof Richard Aslin will be the Keynote speaker; pre-meeting educational course proposals….
Continue reading.
By Maria Angela Franceschini

Longitudinal study using fNIRS finds first evidence of developmental differences between Gambian and UK infants
Investigators at Birkbeck, University of London, University of Cambridge and University College London have discovered that infants at 5 and 8 months of age in The Gambia and the UK have functionally distinct developmental trajectories.
Continue reading.
By Luca Pollonini.

Chasing (late) photons in the brain: classic and null distance approaches to time domain fNIRS
Can you imagine fNIRS in a smartphone? Starting more than 10 years ago in Milan we have been pursuing what in the beginning was just a crazy idea: fNIRS at null source detector distance.
Continue reading.
By Alessandro Torricelli.

Unsupervised analysis of fNIRS in the everyday world
As fNIRS progresses into more natural and life like environments, new challenges in the acquisition and analysis of its signals emerge. A new blind source separation framework, recently published in NeuroImage, aims to provide some remedies.
Continue reading.
By Meryem Yücel.

Prof Elwell gave the hot-topics talk at SPIE Photonics West
Find the video of her plenary at SPIE digital library.

A wrap-up of recent training courses
The last quarter has seen several training courses on fNIRS imaging organized by different groups. Continue reading for an overview and future plans.
By the course organizers.

…and a heads-up about forthcoming events.
From fNIRS-UK to NIRStralia; no matter your geographical hemisphere, the calendar of fNIRS-related activities continues to grow.
By the events organizers.

NIRS in the news
fNIRS continues to hit the news! SPIE, NIH, Science Trends, and others have made comments on fNIRS studies: from neuroergonomics and brain computer interfaces, to teaching 5th graders scientists of tomorrow, to the latest applications in hyperscanning and the development of instrumentation.
By Heather Bortfeld and Felipe Orihuela-Espina.

fNIRS publications
Keep yourself up-to-date on the latest fNIRS publications. Remember to announce events on the SfNIRS Facebook group site or on Twitter using the hashtag #fNIRSpublication
By Felipe Orihuela-Espina.

New Facebook group posting rules
The SfNIRS board has recently approved new posting rules for the Society’s Facebook group. This will be available on the FB site for anyone to consult.
By SfNIRS board and the communications committee.

Society website content update and rearrangement
If you have visited the Society website lately, you may have noticed a few changes. We kept the aesthetics, but some out-of-date content has been removed and new content has been added: The site has been made more friendly for reading on your smartphone, and the lead menu has changed. The resource page has been revised. There is a new site map. All yearly events have been reorganized in the new calendar of events. The information about the Society’s journal, Neurophotonics, has been moved under “publications”. More changes are coming soon.
By Stacey Ladieu, Mari Franceschini and Felipe Orihuela-Espina.

Disclaimer: While we encourage translation of fNIRS technology to commercial products by our members, the Communication Committee and the fNIRS society do not endorse any for-profit or non-profit entity and do not receive any compensation for reporting news about commercial products.

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

Preparations for fNIRS 2020

By Maria Angela Franceschini.

We are making great progress with the fNIRS202 conference.

Pepe and I are sending out invitations for the program committee and we have our keynote speaker. We are thrilled that Professor Richard Aslin has accepted our invitation and are looking forward to an outstanding keynote from him!

Educational course

Another important update: For fNIRS2020, we are planning to offer a 2-day educational course with regular lectures and parallel sessions that provide mini-courses and hands-on demonstrations on more focused topics

David Boas and Meryem Yucel, chairs of the fNIRS 2020 educational committee, are now accepting proposals. Instructions at

Both academia and for-profit companies are welcomed to participate.

Proposal deadline is October 1st 2019.

Chasing (late) photons in the brain: classic and null distance approaches to time domain fNIRS

By Alessandro Torricelli – Politecnico di Milano – Dipartimento di Fisica, Milan (Italy)

Can you imagine fNIRS in a smartphone? With existing steady state or continuous wave (CW) fNIRS technologies this could be just science fiction since miniaturization of a setup is not enough. If we want NIR light to reach brain cortex, at an average depth of 15 mm from the scalp, we would need in fact to place light source and photodetectors at a relative distance of at least 35 mm. This is ruled by the Physics of photon diffusion as presented in Martelli et al. 2016. Actually, the size of existing smartphone is becoming bigger and bigger, and we can foresee sooner or later a smartphone equipped with a CW fNIRS sensor. However, to get rid of unwanted confounding signals from the scalp, CW fNIRS sensors working at short and long distance are essential, therefore increasing the complexity of the apparatus. Of course, flexible display smartphones could even help in fitting head curvature, but indeed this might be too complicated or not viable.

Continue reading

Wrap up evaluations of recent training courses

Several training courses took place during the last quarter with different goals and foci. Here, their organizers share overall assessments and future plans with regards to them.

The first fNIRS training course in Paris

By Judit Gervain

Judit Gervain and the Neuroscience and Cognition Institute of the University Paris Descartes hosted the first fNIRS traning course in Paris between 15-16 April 2019.

With 5 instructors and 17 participants from France, Belgium, and Germany, the 2-day course was a lively, interactive forum for novices, users with some experience, and experts to get together, learn, and share knowledge. The course covered the basic physiological and optical principles of NIRS, data analysis, as well as fNIRS research methods and hands-on practice. The theoretical courses were taught in French, the hands-on sessions were held in small groups in both French and English.

The course was a clear success. The organizers are excited to organize a new edition next year, with even more emphasis on data analysis, and possibly hold the course in English or bilingually in French and English.

Boston University webinar on the Introduction to Data Analysis with Homer 2

By Meryem Yucel

We started a Homer training webinar series again! We offer a 1 hour training webinar every 1 to two months. The webinar is open to anyone (registration required) and is designed to address questions raised by the HOMER community. We will offer future webinars at different times of the day to better accommodate people from different time zones.

Link to the webinar info and recordings of the previous webinars can be found on the Neurophotonics Center website:

NIRStralia Symposium 2019

By David Highton. On behalf of the NIRStralia organising committee.

We are delighted to be hosting the NIRStralia SfNIRS endorsed symposium within the biennial meeting of the International Council for NIR Spectroscopy (NIR2019) on 17-18th Sept. Hosted on the idyllic Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia this meeting offers a unique opportunity to engage and share research across the broadest range of NIR applications. This collaboration between SfNIRS and International Council for NIRSNIR2019 meeting will bring international fNIRS and medical NIRS researchers together, to exchange ideas, and foster collaboration with NIRS users in industry, agriculture and multiple other areas. NIRStralia aims to be the home for biomedical NIRS research in Australasian region, and is moving from strength to strength since our inaugural meeting in 2018. We look forward to seeing you there!


  • Dr Ilias Tachtsidis – University College London
  • Dr Ramani Balu – University of Pennsylvania
  • Prof Yasuyo Minagawa – Professor Keio University, Tokyo
  • Dr Felix Scholkmann – University of Zurich
  • Prof Clare Elwell – President SfNIRS


  • Functional NIRS
  • Clinical research
  • Signal analysis
  • Modelling
  • Preclinical studies
  • Exercise physiology
  • Device development

For further info and late breaking abstract submission see Follow us @NStralia


fNIRS-UK 2019

By Hamid Dehghani and George Rowley.

The planning for the 2019 fNIRS-UK meeting is well underway, which will be held at the University of Birmingham, UK on the 26th and 27th September, 2019.

Based on the feedback from 2017 attendees, as part of the meeting we have organised a half-day workshop on Tissue Optics, Overview of data analysis and optical parameter recovery. This will then be followed by a social on the evening of the 26th September with the conference taking place on Friday 27th September, with a mixture of talks and poster presentations. We are happy to report that our invited speakers include Arjun Yodh (UPenn, USA) and Antonia Hamilton (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL).

The meeting will be held at the newly opened conference centre at the University of Birmingham, which is also next door to the Centre for Human Brain Health, for which tours will be available.
The conference is open to all and we welcome submissions of abstract from a range of applications of NIRS. The deadline is fast approaching on the 5th of July and we encourage submission as soon as possible to allow us a timely review.

The conference is open to all and we welcome submissions of abstract from a range of applications of NIRS. The deadline is fast approaching on the 5th of July and we encourage submission as soon as possible to allow us a timely review.

The meeting is in part being sponsored by BitMap: Brain injury and trauma monitoring using advanced photonics (an H2020 MSCA-ITN-ETN – Training Network, and is therefore free to register. We would welcome sponsorship from industry to help further support this meeting, so please do get in touch.

Full details of the meeting can be found here: