BACKGROUND: Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is increasingly used in the field of posture and gait to investigate patterns of cortical brain activation while people move freely. fNIRS methods, analysis and reporting of data vary greatly across studies which in turn can limit the replication of research, interpretation of findings and comparison across works.
RESEARCH QUESTION AND METHODS: Considering these issues, we propose a set of practical recommendations for the conduct and reporting of fNIRS studies in posture and gait, acknowledging specific challenges related to clinical groups with posture and gait disorders.
RESULTS: Our paper is organized around three main sections: 1) hardware set up and study protocols, 2) artefact removal and data processing and, 3) outcome measures, validity and reliability; it is supplemented with a detailed checklist.
SIGNIFICANCE: This paper was written by a core group of members of the International Society for Posture and Gait Research and posture and gait researchers, all experienced in fNIRS research, with the intent of assisting the research community to lead innovative and impactful fNIRS studies in the field of posture and gait, whilst ensuring standardization of research.