Optical Topography - Online Article

What is Optical Topography?

  • Technology which sends a small amount of infrared light through the brain's surface to map out changes in blood flow.
  • This technique provides the"Real-Time" Measurement of brain's activity.
  • Measurement can be done under more natural condition.


Principle of Optical Topography


It uses near infra red light to measure changes in blood hemoglobin Concentration in brain. Measure the changes of OXY - DEOXY Hemoglobin concentration. Measure total blood volume changes in Cerebral Cortex.



System Configuration



Brain-machine interface

  • Cap connects by optical fibers to a mapping device.
  • Compact headband and mapping machine can control electronic devices by simply thinking.


Practical Proofs


Medical Applications

  • Could help disabled people operate wheelchairs, beds, or artificial limbs.
  • Would initially help people with paralyzing diseases for communication even after losing control of their muscles.
  • An Infant's brain activity is measured.


Future Applications

  • Could replace remote controls and keyboards.
  • Remote control could turn TV on and off or switch channels just by thinking.
  • A Germany based car company use it's driving application.


  • Have to tweak the interface to more accurately pick up on the correct signals while ignoring background brain activity.
  • Size, since it's a cap (Hitachi's is 2lbs).
  • How lazy are we becoming if we can't push a button to turn ON the TV.

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