Date: 26 Apr 2012

NIRS: Theoretical Background and Practical Aspects

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In this chapter, an introduction to near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as a tool for brain functional monitoring and imaging is presented. The basic physical principles are outlined for the measurement of physiological parameters like cortical haemoglobin oxygenation and blood flow. The advantages of spatially resolved as well as time- and frequency-domain techniques are discussed and compared with the modified Lambert–Beer approach which is used in most topographic imaging systems.