Functional near-infrared spectroscopy: Proof of concept for its application in social neuroscience

Stefano I. Di Domenico, Achala H. Rodrigo, Mengxi Dong, Marc A. Fournier, Hasan Ayaz, Richard M. Ryan, Anthony C. Ruocco

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Social neuroscience involves the use of neuroscience methods to study how the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. Progress in social neuroscience depends upon the advancement of methods that enable researchers to examine the neural and broader biological bases of social psychological phenomena. This chapter introduces continuous-wave functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) as an emerging neuroimaging technique in social neuroscience. After a brief review of fNIRS principles, it demonstrates the utility of fNIRS for social neuroscience by identifying well-established patterns of neural activity when people make self- and other-referential judgments. Consistent with previous work using other neuroimaging methods, participants exhibited greater medial prefrontal activity when rating trait adjectives with respect to themselves relative to adjectives with respect to their friends. The chapter closes by reflecting upon the ways in which fNIRS may be best used to advance social neuroscience.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuroergonomics
Subtitle of host publicationThe Brain at Work and in Everyday Life
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128119266
ISBN (Print)9780128119273
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Functional near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Medial prefrontal cortex
  • Optical neuroimaging
  • Personality neuroscience
  • Self-referential processing
  • Social cognition
  • Social neuroscience


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