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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Adam T Eggebrecht
  • Brian R White
  • Silvina L Ferradal
  • Chunxiao Chen
  • Yuxuan Zhan
  • Abraham Z Snyder
  • Joseph P Culver

Colleges, School and Institutes


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+/-1mm, 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.

Bibliographic note

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1120-8
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2012


  • Adult, Brain Mapping, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Tomography, Optical, Young Adult