We describe the functional topography of human brain activity due to motor stimulation by using near‐infrared spectroscopy. Finger motion by each hand was used as the motor stimulation, and activity in the left fronto‐central region of the brain was measured. A greater change in oxyhemoglobin concentration due to brain activity during the stimulation was obtained for the right hand than for the left hand. Localization of the activity was obtained by topographically mapping the measured changes for ten positions within the region. © 1996 Society of Photo−Optical Instrumentation Engineers.