Intrinsic optical imaging as developed by Grinvald et al. is a powerful technique for monitoring neural function in the in vivo central nervous system. The advent of this dye-free imaging has also enabled us to monitor human brain function during neurosurgical operations. We briefly describe our own experience in functional mapping of the human somatosensory cortex, carried out using intraoperative optical imaging. The maps obtained demonstrate new additional evidence of a hierarchy for sensory response patterns in the human primary somatosensory cortex.