Measurement of concentration, oxygenation, and flow characteristics of blood cells can reveal information about tissue metabolism and functional heterogeneity. An instrument has been built that combines two near-infrared diffuse optical techniques to simultaneously monitor blood flow, blood volume and blood oxygen saturation. Diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) monitors blood flow by measuring the optical phase shifts caused by moving blood cells, while diffuse photon density wave (DPDW) spectroscopy measured tissue absorption and scattering. The modularized design of the instrument provides the instrument great flexibility for trading off the temporal, spectral and spatial resolution by selecting the number of source-detector pairs and wavelengths. The frame acquisition rate of the current instrument is 0.2 Hz with 3l (wavelengths) x 15s (source positions) x 4d (detectors) for DPDW measurement in the frequency domain, and 1λ x 3s; x 9d for DCS. Higher frame acquisition rate could be achieved by reducing the spatial resolution, for example, 2 Hz with 3λ x 1s x 4d for DPDW and 1l x 1s x 9d for DCS. The unique non-contact probe mounted on the back of a camera allows non-contact measurement that avoids potentially altering blood flow. We used this instrument to monitor in vivo the hemodynamic responses in rat brain during KCl induced cortical spreading depression (CSD).© (2002) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.