Optical topography/functional near-infrared spectroscopy (OT/fNIRS) is a functional imaging technique that noninvasively measures cerebral hemoglobin concentration changes caused by neural activities. The fNIRS method has been extensively implemented to understand the brain activity in many applications, such as neurodisorder diagnosis and treatment, cognitive psychology, and psychiatric status evaluation. To assist users in analyzing fNIRS data with various application purposes, we developed a software called platform for optical topography analysis tools (POTATo). We explain how to handle and analyze fNIRS data in the POTATo package and systematically describe domain preparation, temporal preprocessing, functional signal extraction, statistical analysis, and data/result visualization for a practical example of working memory tasks. This example is expected to give clear insight in analyzing data using POTATo. The results specifically show the activated dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is consistent with previous studies. This emphasizes analysis robustness, which is required for validating decent preprocessing and functional signal interpretation. POTATo also provides a self-developed plug-in feature allowing users to create their own functions and incorporate them with established POTATo functions. With this feature, we continuously encourage users to improve fNIRS analysis methods. We also address the complications and resolving opportunities in signal analysis.
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