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Functional near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a relatively new technique complimentary to EEG for the development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). NIRS-based systems for detecting various cognitive and affective states such as mental and emotional stress have already been demonstrated in a range of adaptive human–computer interaction (HCI) applications. However, before NIRS-BCIs can be used reliably in realistic HCI settings, substantial challenges oncerning signal processing and modeling must be addressed. Although many of those challenges have been identified previously, the solutions to overcome them remain scant. In this paper, we first review what can be currently done with NIRS, specifically, NIRS-based approaches to measuring cognitive and affective user states as well as demonstrations of passive NIRS-BCIs. We then discuss some of the primary challenges these systems would face if deployed in more realistic settings, including detection latencies and motion artifacts. Lastly, we investigate the effects of some of these challenges on signal reliability via a quantitative comparison of three NIRS models. The hope is that this paper will actively engage researchers to acilitate the advancement of NIRS as a more robust and useful tool to the BCI community.


© 2014 Strait and Scheutz. Original published version available at

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Frontiers in Neuroscience





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