Definition: Real-time defines that the acquisition and processing of data occurs during the recording within a relatively short period of time. Although the term ‘real-time’ is used very frequently, these processes never actually take place in real-time, but only take place in batches of data. With a small batch size, these processes are perceived as real-time. In fNIRS, batch processing can be found, for instance, in some recording softwares (e.g., real-time channel quality assessment) or in the context of applications such as fNIRS-guided neurofeedback and brain computer interfaces.

Alternative definition:  Real-time refers to the operations applied to the data -i.e., the acquisition, processing, and if appropriate, analysis- that occur within the time lapse between consecutive samples acquisition.

Synonym: online


Related terms: Neurofeedback, Brain Computer Interfaces, Lab Streaming Layer

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