High-density diffuse optical tomography of term infant visual cortex in the nursery

Steve M. Liao, Silvina L. Ferradal, Brian R. White, Nicholas Gregg, Terrie E. Inder, Joseph P. Culver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Advancements in antenatal and neonatal medicine over the last few decades have led to significant improvement in the survival rates of sick newborn infants. However, this improvement in survival has not been matched by a reduction in neurodevelopmental morbidities with increasing recognition of the diverse cognitive and behavioral challenges that preterm infants face in childhood. Conventional neuroimaging modalities, such as cranial ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, provide an important definition of neuroanatomy with recognition of brain injury. However, they fail to define the functional integrity of the immature brain, particularly during this critical developmental period. Diffuse optical tomography methods have established success in imaging adult brain function; however, few studies exist to demonstrate their feasibility in the neonatal population. We demonstrate the feasibility of using recently developed high-density diffuse optical tomography (HD-DOT) to map functional activation of the visual cortex in healthy term-born infants. The functional images show high contrast- to-noise ratio obtained in seven neonates. These results illustrate the potential for HD-DOT and provide a foundation for investigations of brain function in more vulnerable newborns, such as preterm infants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number081414
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Brain
  • Diffuse optical imaging
  • Infants
  • Near infrared spectroscopy
  • Visual response


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