A Mechanical Mounting System for Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Brain Imaging Studies
Coyle, Shirley and Markham, Charles and Lanigan, William and Ward, Tomas (2005) A Mechanical Mounting System for Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Brain Imaging Studies. In: Proceedings of the SPIE, 2005, Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland.
In this work a mechanical optode mounting system for functional brain imaging with light is presented. The particular application here is a non-invasive optical brain computer interface (BCI) working in the near-infrared range. A BCI is a device that allows a user to interact with their environment through thought processes alone. Their most common use is as a communication aid for the severely disabled. We have recently pioneered the use of optical techniques for such BCI systems rather than the usual electrical modality . Our optical BCI detects characteristic changes in the cerebral haemodynamic responses that occur during motor imagery tasks. On detection of features of the optical response, resulting from localised haemodynamic changes, the BCI translates such responses and provides visual feedback to the user. While signal processing has a large part to play in terms of optimising performance we have found that it is the mechanical mounting of the optical sources and detectors (optodes) that has the greatest bearing on the performance of the system and indeed presents many interesting and novel challenges with regard to sensor placement, depth of penetration, signal intensity, artifact reduction and robustness of measurement. Here a solution is presented that accommodates the range of experimental parameters required for the application as well as meeting many of the challenges outlined above. This is the first time that a concerted study on optode mounting systems for optical BCIs has been attempted and it is hoped this paper may stimulate further research in this area.
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