The very rapid development of optical technology has followed a pattern similar to that of nuclear magnetic resonance: first, spectroscopy and then imaging. The accomplishments in spectroscopy have been significant--among them, early detection of hematomas and quantitative oximetry (assuming that time and frequency domain instruments are used). Imaging has progressed somewhat later. The first images were obtained in Japan and USA a few years ago, particularly of parietal stimulation of the human brain. Since then, rapid applications to breast and limb, together with higher resolution of the brain now make NIR imaging of functional activation and tumor detection readily available, reliable and affordable devices. The lecture has to do with the applications of imaging to these three areas, particularly to prefrontal imaging of cognitive function, of breast tumor detection, and of localized muscle activation in exercise. The imaging resolution achievable in functional activation appears to be FWHM of 4 mm. The time required for an image is a few seconds or even much less. Breast image detection at 50 microsecond(s) ec/pixel results in images obtainable in a few seconds or shorter times (bandwidths of the kHz are available). Finally, imaging of the body organs is under study in this laboratory, particularly in the in utero fetus. It appears that the photon migration theory now leads to the development of a wide number of images for human subject tissue spectroscopy and imaging.© (1999) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.