Retinotopic mapping of adult human visual cortex with high-density diffuse optical tomography

Benjamin W. Zeff, Brian R. White, Hamid Dehghani, Bradley L. Schlaggar, Joseph P. Culver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

298 Scopus citations


Functional neuroimaging is a vital element of neuroscience and cognitive research and, increasingly, is an important clinical tool. Diffuse optical imaging is an emerging, noninvasive technique with unique portability and hemodynamic contrast capabilities for mapping brain function in young subjects and subjects in enriched or clinical environments. We have developed a high-performance, high-density diffuse optical tomography (DOT) system that overcomes previous limitations and enables superior image quality. We show herein the utility of the DOT system by presenting functional hemodynamic maps of the adult human visual cortex. The functional brain images have a high contrast-to-noise ratio, allowing visualization of individual activations and highly repeatable mapping within and across subjects. With the improved spatial resolution and localization, we were able to image functional responses of 1.7 cm in extent and shifts of <1 cm. Cortical maps of angle and eccentricity in the visual field are consistent with retinotopic studies using functional MRI and positron-emission tomography. These results demonstrate that high-density DOT is a practical and powerful tool for mapping function in the human cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12169-12174
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jul 17 2007


  • Functional brain mapping
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Neuroimaging
  • Retinotopy


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