Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Joseph Culver


Clinicians who care for brain-injured patients and premature infants desire a bedside monitor of brain function. A decade ago, there was hope that optical imaging would be able to fill this role, as it combined fMRI's ability to construct cortical maps with EEG's portable, cap-based systems. However, early optical systems had poor imaging performance, and the momentum for the technique slowed. In our lab, we develop diffuse optical tomography: DOT), which is a more advanced method of performing optical imaging. My research has been to pioneer the in vivo use of DOT for advanced neuroimaging by: 1) quantifying the advantages of DOT through both in silico simulation and in vivo performance metrics,: 2) restoring confidence in the technique with the first retinotopic mapping of the visual cortex: a benchmark for fMRI and PET), and: 3) creating concepts and methods for the clinical translation of DOT. Hospitalized patients are unable to perform complicated neurological tasks, which has motivated us to develop the first DOT methods for resting-state brain mapping with functional connectivity. Finally, in collaboration with neonatologists, I have extended these methods with proof-of-principle imaging of brain-injured premature infants. This work establishes DOT's improvements in imaging performance and readies it for multiple clinical and research roles.


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