We have developed an effective technique for aiding the design and evaluating the performance of the probe caps used to perform optical topography (OT) on infants. To design and evaluate a probe cap, it is necessary to determine the measurement positions for conducting OT on the brain surface of subjects. One technique for determining these positions on the brain surface is to find their three-dimensional (3D) coordinates using a 3D magnetic space digitizer, which consists of a 3D magnetic source and a 3D magnetic sensor. The problem with this technique is that it takes a long time to determine all the measurement points on the subject's head and it is difficult to use with infants. It is a particular problem with infants who cannot support their own heads. Therefore, we have developed a real model of an infant subject's head based on 3D magnetic resonance (MR) images. The model is made from an optical-curable resin using 3D computer-aided-format coordinate data taken from 3D MR image-format coordinate data. We have determined the measurement positions on the surface of the model corresponding to a scalp using a 3D magnetic space digitizer and displayed the positions on a 3D MR image of the infant's brain. Using this technique, we then determined the actual 72 measurement positions located over the entire brain surface area for use with our new whole-head probe cap for neonates and infants. This method is useful for evaluating the performance of and designing probe caps.
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