Research Topic

Optics and the Central Nervous System

About this Research Topic

Light-based technologies provide an unprecedented opportunity to noninvasively probe the central nervous system (the brain, retina, and spinal cord) at the point-of-care. Notably, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS), and optical coherence tomography (OCT) can provide functional or/and detailed anatomical information of the CNS - NIRS can assess cerebral blood content and oxygenation, DCS can monitor cerebral blood flow (CBF) with high measurement speed, and OCT provides high-resolution images of tissue structures. These techniques are now widely used in pre-clinical/clinical research and novel approaches are being continuously developed to address unmet challenges.

This Research Topic focuses on novel approaches in NIRS (also known as diffuse optical spectroscopy, DOS), DCS, and OCT for probing and imaging the central nervous system, including the brain, retina, and spinal cord. We seek articles reporting original contributions that report novel NIRS, DCS, and OCT methods for pre-clinical and clinical research, including technology and algorithm development, theory, and novel data analysis.


· Methods in pre-clinical and clinical studies of cerebral perfusion, metabolism, and/or autoregulation.

· Novel OCT methods for brain and retina

· New functional NIRS (fNIRS) techniques

· Novel methods for monitoring and injury detection in the CNS

· New approaches for noninvasive measurement of intracranial pressure

· Modeling of light propagation in tissue

· Novel algorithms and data analysis methods


Keywords: Near-infrared spectroscopy, diffuse optical spectroscopy, diffuse correlation spectroscopy, optical coherence tomography, cerebral blood flow and metabolism, cerebral blood content and oxygenation, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), spinal cord injury, functional imaging of the retina, angiography and tissue morphology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Light-based technologies provide an unprecedented opportunity to noninvasively probe the central nervous system (the brain, retina, and spinal cord) at the point-of-care. Notably, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS), and optical coherence tomography (OCT) can provide functional or/and detailed anatomical information of the CNS - NIRS can assess cerebral blood content and oxygenation, DCS can monitor cerebral blood flow (CBF) with high measurement speed, and OCT provides high-resolution images of tissue structures. These techniques are now widely used in pre-clinical/clinical research and novel approaches are being continuously developed to address unmet challenges.

This Research Topic focuses on novel approaches in NIRS (also known as diffuse optical spectroscopy, DOS), DCS, and OCT for probing and imaging the central nervous system, including the brain, retina, and spinal cord. We seek articles reporting original contributions that report novel NIRS, DCS, and OCT methods for pre-clinical and clinical research, including technology and algorithm development, theory, and novel data analysis.


· Methods in pre-clinical and clinical studies of cerebral perfusion, metabolism, and/or autoregulation.

· Novel OCT methods for brain and retina

· New functional NIRS (fNIRS) techniques

· Novel methods for monitoring and injury detection in the CNS

· New approaches for noninvasive measurement of intracranial pressure

· Modeling of light propagation in tissue

· Novel algorithms and data analysis methods


Keywords: Near-infrared spectroscopy, diffuse optical spectroscopy, diffuse correlation spectroscopy, optical coherence tomography, cerebral blood flow and metabolism, cerebral blood content and oxygenation, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), spinal cord injury, functional imaging of the retina, angiography and tissue morphology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2021 Abstract
31 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2021 Abstract
31 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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