+++ CANCELLED +++ Introduction to near-infrared-sepctroscopy (NIRS)

This course will provide a practical overview of the use of NIRS. NIRS is a well-established tool in clinical care and neuroscience research. NIRS is rapidly gaining more interest due to several advantageous features over alternative neuroimaging techniques such as its portability allowing for example to document brain activity in moving patients/organisms.

The course will cover several basic fundamental themes:

  1. Optical theory underlying NIRS, including absorption and scattering of light, how these are calculated, and how ultimately we calculate concentrations of oxy- and deoxy-haemoglobin.
  2. How to make NIRS work. This will include an overview of NIRS hardware, and additionally how hardware is marinized for use in the marine environment, and how the technology is integrated with existing animal-borne technology
  3. How to deploy NIRS and successfully collect data. This will cover the attachment of instruments to seals and humans, and provide initial basics on real-time data collection and data appraisal.
  4. How to analyse the systemic physiology in NIRS signal. NIRS signals contain numerous useful physiological data, such as heart rate, respiration rate, arterial blood oxygen saturation, brain blood oxygen saturation, changes in blood volume, changes in blood pressure, and changes in intracranial pressure. A MATLAB practical demonstration will be performed, using signal processing approaches to extract these physiological data.
  5. How to extract cortical activation signals from fNIRS data. A MATLAB practical demonstration will be performed, using signal processing approaches to identify regions of cortical activation associated with sensory stimuli. The practical will cover raw data appraisal, data filtering, frequency analysis, and group averaging approaches.
  6. Comparison of fNIRS to other brain imaging techniques highlighting advantages and limitations.


  • Introduction to NIRS/fNIRS
  • Collection of physiological data with NIRS
  • Optical brain imaging
  • Application of fNIRS in research
  • fNIRS in marine mammals and free divers
  • comparison of NIRS to other techniques

Target audience: PhD students and Postdocs, Number of participants: 50, Language: English, Registration: required

Contact & Registration

Prof. Dr. Frederike Hanke (host scientist)
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Institute for Biosciences
Marine Science Center
Tel: +49 381 666 97 19 14

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