• near infrared spectroscopy;
  • fMRI;
  • epilepsy;
  • Wada test


Near infrared optical topography (OT) is the simultaneous acquisition of hemoglobin absorption from an array of optical fibers on the scalp to construct maps of cortical activity. We demonstrate that OT can be used to determine lateralization of prefrontal areas to a language task that has been validated by functional MRI (fMRI). Studies were performed on six subjects using a visually presented language task. Laterality was quantified by the relative number of activated pixels in each hemisphere for fMRI, and the total hemoglobin responses in each hemisphere for OT. All subjects showed varying degrees of left hemisphere language dominance and the mean laterality indices for subjects who underwent both OT and fMRI were in good agreement. These studies demonstrate that OT gives predictions of hemispheric dominance that are consistent with fMRI. Due to the ease of use and portable nature of OT, it is anticipated that optical topography will be valuable tool for neurological examinations of cognitive function. Hum. Brain Mapping 16:183–189, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.