UNCW Workshop on NIRS: “A Guiding Light in Cognitive Research”

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Date(s) - 12/02/2017
9:00 am - 3:00 pm

University of North Carolina, Wilmington


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UNCW Workshop on NIRS: "A Guiding Light in Cognitive Research"

We are pleased to announce the upcoming UNCW Workshop on NIRS: “A Guiding Light in Cognitive Research co-organized by Cortech Solutions, Artinis Medical Systems and Jeffrey Toth, PhD of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

We are pleased to announce that the keynote speaker will be Dr. Jeffrey Toth, and his lecture will be entitled “Using fNIRS to Explore the Brain’s Default Mode Network”..


This Workshop will be an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy and how the technique can be applied in research in neuroscience and related disciplines. There will be both lectures and hands-on learning opportunities.  Because NIRS has such a wide range of applications, it is necessary to narrow the focus of the workshop to a degree to brain activity measurement, although the technique also has many applications in measuring muscular activity.  NIRS can be used to measure brain activation reflected in changes in blood-oxygen levels relating to mental states, tasks or stimuli.  The technique has been used to investigate a wide range of topics in cognitive neuroscience, including:

  • decision making
  • neurological and psychiatric disease effects
  • cognitive benefits of exercise
  • brain-computer interfaces and neurofeedback
  • and many more

Technical Background

NIRS is a technique for measuring biological activity based on absorption of light by certain chromophores. When NIRS is used on biological tissue the main absorbing chromophores are hemoglobin and myoglobin. Both these chromophores have similar absorption spectra and cannot be distinguished using NIRS. However, most important for NIRS are the changes in oxygen binding to these chromophores. Very often only hemoglobin is used to refer to both chromophores. Hemoglobin mainly exists in two forms, oxy- and deoxyhemoglobin.  NIRS measures changes in light absorption and uses the modified Lambert Beer law to calculate changes in hemoglobin concentrations. Our NIRS devices also have the possibility to calculate absolute concentrations using spatially resolved spectroscopy (SRS).

Not covered in this workshop: Muscle oxygenation and haemodynamics: The same technique, with a different sensor configuration, can be used to measure tissue saturation and Oxy / Deoxy concentrations in muscle tissue during physical activity, with a particular focus on elite levels of performance.

If you plan to attend and have specific cognitive neuroscience research interests related to the workshop, please let us know in advance so that we can do our best to accommodate topics of interest to registrants.

Date and Time

The UNCW Workshop on NIRS will be held December 2, from 9 AM until 3 PM.  Please arrive by 8:30 AM to park, locate the meeting room and have coffee before we get underway.


The event will be held in the McNeill Hall, multi-purpose room 1051. The event location and visitor parking garage are indicated in the map below.  For more directions and parking options, see the UNCW Interactive Campus Map or the UNCW Visitor Parking page.



Bookings are closed for this event.