A quantitative spatial comparison of high-density diffuse optical tomography and fMRI cortical mapping

Adam T. Eggebrecht, Brian R. White, Silvina L. Ferradal, Chunxiao Chen, Yuxuan Zhan, Abraham Z. Snyder, Hamid Dehghani, Joseph P. Culver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Functional neuroimaging commands a dominant role in current neuroscience research. However its use in bedside clinical and certain neuro-scientific studies has been limited because the current tools lack the combination of being non-invasive, non-ionizing and portable while maintaining moderate resolution and localization accuracy. Optical neuroimaging satisfies many of these requirements, but, until recent advances in high-density diffuse optical tomography (HD-DOT), has been hampered by limited resolution. While early results of HD-DOT have been promising, a quantitative voxel-wise comparison and validation of HD-DOT against the gold standard of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been lacking. Herein, we provide such an analysis within the visual cortex using matched visual stimulation protocols in a single group of subjects (n = 5) during separate HD-DOT and fMRI scanning sessions. To attain the needed voxel-to-voxel co-registration between HD-DOT and fMRI image spaces, we implemented subject-specific head modeling that incorporated MRI anatomy, detailed segmentation, and alignment of source and detector positions. Comparisons of the visual responses found an average localization error between HD-DOT and fMRI of 4.4. +/- 1. mm, significantly less than the average distance between cortical gyri. This specificity demonstrates that HD-DOT has sufficient image quality to be useful as a surrogate for fMRI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1120-1128
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 16 2012


  • Cortex
  • Functional neuroimaging
  • Human
  • Mapping
  • Optical tomography


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