• near-infrared spectroscopy;
  • Monte Carlo simulation;
  • spatial sensitivity;
  • photon migration;
  • brain structure;
  • diffuse optics;
  • MRI


The goal of this study is to prove that the light propagation in the head by used the 3-D optical model from in vivo MRI data set can also provide significant characteristics on the spatial sensitivity of cerebral cortex folding geometry based on Monte Carlo simulation. Thus, we proposed a MRI based approach for 3-D brain modeling of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). In the results, the spatial sensitivity profile of the cerebral cortex folding geometry and the arrangement of source-detector separation have being necessarily considered for applications of functional NIRS. The optimal choice of source-detector separation is suggested within 3–3.5 cm by the received intensity with different source-detector separations and the ratio of received light from the gray and white matter layer is greater than 50%. Additionally, this study has demonstrated the capability of NIRS in not only assessing the functional but also detecting the structural change of the brain by taking advantage of the low scattering and absorption coefficients observed in CSF of sagittal view. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)