Functional near-infrared spectroscopy in psychiatry

Yuen Yi Cynthia Lai, Cyrus S.H. Ho, Charmaine R. Lim, Roger C.M. Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has been used in healthcare and medical research for the past two decades. In particular, the use of fNIRS in academic and clinical psychiatry has increased rapidly owing to its advantages over other neuroimaging modalities. fNIRS is a tool that can potentially supplement clinical interviews and mental state examinations to establish a psychiatric diagnosis and monitor treatment progress. This article provides a review of the theoretical background of fNIRS, key principles of its applications in psychiatry and its limitations, and shares a vision of its future applicability in psychiatric research and clinical practice. LEARNING OBJECTIVES Understand the theoretical background, mechanism of action and clinical applications of fNIRS and compare it to other neuroimaging modalities Understand the use of fNIRS in academic and clinical psychiatry through current research findings Be able to evaluate the future potential of fNIRS and formulate new ideas for using fNIRS in academic and clinical psychiatry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-330
Number of pages7
JournalBJPsych Advances
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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