fNIRS 2021 Biennial Meeting

On behalf of the President, the Conference Chairs, and the Local Organizing Committee, we wish you a warm welcome to fNIRS2021, the 6th biennial meeting of the Society for functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (SfNIRS), to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, October 10 – 13, 2021. Following the tradition of previous biennial meetings, fNIRS2021 will bring together more than 500 scientistsĀ from all over theĀ  world to present and discuss the latest developments and advances in diffuse optics for the study of the human brain. The aims are to identify new opportunities for fNIRS, to delineate the key challenges facing the field and to identify strategies to overcome these challenges.

The theme of this meeting is the fNIRS future. We aim to establish the current state of the art, and from there identify knowledge gaps that should be addressed. We seek to identify advances in hardware, hybrid imaging modalities, data acquisition, image analysis, deep learning, and novel biomarkers, that can be used to create more powerful, more accurate, more sensitive, faster, and/or more quantitative fNIRS methods.

The meeting is necessarily multidisciplinary and we are planning to bring leaders from different fields to challenge the orthodoxy and identify new opportunities.

The program will span the topics of hardware development, data analysis and algorithms, computational neuroscience and neuroscience applications, clinical applications, neonatal, pediatric applications and neurodevelopment neuroscience, cognitive and social neuroscience, and global fNIRS. Our goal is to present the cutting edge technology and the novel discoveries of the field.

The objectives of the scientific sessions of this meeting are:

  • to highlight and discuss recent milestone discoveries by fNIRS in a variety of neuroscience and clinical applications;
  • to foster novel applications in computational, cognitive and social neuroscience, aging and neurodegeneration, neonatal and pediatric neurodevelopmental neuroscience, to name a few;
  • to support clinical translation and adoption of fNIRS in a variety of diagnostic and neuromonitoring applications;
  • to provide the fNIRS community with a collection of best practice guidelines for supporting all aspects relevant to the technique, from performance assessment of instrumentation to correct implementation of fNIRS measurements, from basic data analysis procedures to advanced statistical methods;
  • to identify how emerging, more powerful, fNIRS technologies can be adopted by the user community; 
  • to disseminate novel data analysis methods and algorithms;
  • to combine advanced imaging techniques with fNIRS to yield richer information;
  • to foster discussion and collaboration across these areas of research with established scientists in related scientific and technical fields and to encourage young scientists to develop research careers in fNIRS.

Boston is the sixth-largest city in the United States, and one of the oldest, founded  in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England. Boston was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston.  Its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing more than 20 million visitors per year. Boston’s many firsts include the United States’ first public park (Boston Common, 1634), first public or state school (Boston Latin School, 1635) and first subway system (Tremont Street Subway, 1897). The Boston area’s many colleges and universities make it an international center of higher education, including law, medicine, engineering, and business, and the city is considered to be a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, with nearly 2,000 startups. For more info about Boston please check https://www.boston.gov/visiting-boston

The conference will be hosted by Boston University in the George Sherman Union. The GSU is located in the center of Boston University Campus, and it is walking distance from downtown Boston, Harvard University, MIT and Harvard Medical School campuses.

A stimulating program combined with a great location, will hopefully make this conference an exciting event. We very much look forward to your participation in fNIRS2020 and to welcoming you to Boston.

Yours Sincerely,

Clare Elwell, SfNIRS President
Mari Franceschini & Ippeita Dan, Conference Chairs
Charles Nelson, Local Committee Chair