Welcome to the openFNIRS.org website!

openFNIRS is driven by the community to support the community in the use of fNIRS.

Our mission is to foster the development of an fNIRS ecosystem and to promote the open dissemination of fNIRS hardware and software, as well as provide access to resources, documentation and training opportunities for fNIRS users.

OpenFNIRS has been supported by the National Institute of Health NIH by R24-NS104096 “Establishing an fNIRS Ecosystem for Open Software-Hardware Dissemination” and by a supplement under U01-U01EB029856 “The Neuroscience of Everyday World- A novel wearable system for continuous measurement of brain function”

What is fNIRS?

Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a non-invasive, portable method employing near-infrared light propagating diffusely through the scalp and brain, for functional monitoring and imaging of human brain hemodynamics.

This neuroimaging modality is particularly suited for populations and studies where other imaging options are limited, such as infants, children, and volunteers/patients interacting freely with their environment. fNIRS has found a wide range of applications to study normal and pathological brain physiology, including perception and cognition, motor control, psychiatric conditions (depression, schizophrenia), and behavioral and cognitive development in infants and children.

More background information on NIRS can be found on the Scholarpedia webpage. More can be read in a 2017 special section in Neurophotonics that spanned 3 issues with 41 papers (part I, part II, part III). In addition, a 2014 special issue of NeuroImage provides a thorough review of the field, as well as publications on state-of-the-art applications. The introduction to the special issue can be found here. The Society for Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy runs a conference every two years and hosts a Facebook page from which one can connect with the international fNIRS community.

Who are we?

The openfnirs.org website is developed by:

  • The Boston University NeuroPhotonics Center under NIH grant R24-NS104096,
  • Alexander von Lühmann who developed the opennirs.org website offering documentation and files for open NIRS instrumentation hardware,
Contact us

David Boas


BU NeuroPhotonics Center open hardware – ninjaNIRS

We are developing a wearable modular fNIRS system at the BU Neurophotonics Center that we call ninjaNIRS. We are sharing hardware designs and associated software for this system here. Full design details are now available for our first version ninjaNIRS 2020 and our new updated version ninjaNIRS 2021.

Other open hardware

The site opennirs.org developed by Alexander von Lühmann provides documentation and technical details for  wearable, stand-alone, open NIRS instrumentation hardware.



Homer3 is available at GitHub at here.  This is the latest installment in the HOMER software series for analyzing fNIRS data. It builds upon Homer2 by enabling custom processing scripts at the session and group levels. This will enable more powerful statistical analyses of session and group level results. Homer3 also implements the Shared NIR data Format (SNIRF) that has been developed and adopted by a broad consortium of software and hardware developers. Please join the Homer google group discussion forum here.

For more info please visit here.

We also offer Homer Premium access for Homer3 users, with this premium access you can have additional materials and functionality.

In Homer Premium package:

High-Resolution Fluence Profiles

High-resolution precomputed sensitivity data. This enables access to higher fidelity fluence data without requiring the computational investment of performing local fluence simulations.

Training Materials
you can access video recordings of fNIRS training courses. Materials include lectures with a strong emphasis on data analysis exercises using the Homer3 software, as well as ongoing webinars.

Please Register as Homer Premium Member to get access to all above materials.


After 10 years of developing the Homer2 and AtlasViewer toolboxes (2009 to 2019), Homer2 is now being replaced by Homer3. AtlasViewer will continue to evolve along with Homer3. Homer2 will remain available online. It is unlikely that any more revisions will be made to Homer2.

For more info please visit here.

Other fNIRS software

The resource page of the fnirs.org website provides a list of available software developed for use in fNIRS imaging.

For more info please visit here.


Good resources for up-to-date information about fNIRS training opportunities are the newsletter of the Society for functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy and the Facebook page of the SfNIRS. 

Different groups offer fNIRS courses and workshops throughout  the year (let us know of any others to include here):

  • The Boston University NeuroPhotonics Center holds an annual 3-day fNIRS course run by David Boas and Meryem Yücel (previously hosted at the Martinos Center at Massachusetts General Hospital).
  • Dr. Ted Huppert and lab at the University of Pittsburgh hosts a two-day intensive fNIRS training course on advanced data analysis and experimental design.
  • NIRx holds regular training webinars.