BACKGROUND. Patients under general anesthesia have a risk of regaining awareness while being paralyzed and unable to communicate, which may lead to severe psychological trauma. Various methods for monitoring the depth of anesthesia are available, but they rely on measuring biological markers that may be misleading. A new method has been suggested: using a brain computer interface to detect if the patient is attempting to move, because cortical activity as a result of attempted movement can be measured reliably. A system for detection of intraoperative awareness must have a simple generic hardware montage that takes a minimal amount of time to set up, in order to be considered clinically feasible. Electroencephalography (EEG) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) are two methods for measuring brain activity, which exhibit different advantages and disadvantages. This study investigates if fNIRS may be considered a feasible alternative. METHODS. A combined EEG- fNIRS measurement experiment was conducted on freely informed participants. The participants performed randomly selected, hand and foot movement tasks while brain activity was measured. The data was analyzed post hoc to determine, and compare the performance of the two modalities at detecting these movements. RESULTS. The average performance rate for EEG at detecting movement, both hand and foot, was higher than for fNIRS, although only significantly for foot movement. Observations made during the analysis suggests that fNIRS could not measure foot movements reliably, and that the performance for the two modalities at detecting hand movements were mutually exclusive, suggesting that only one modality could measure hand movement reliably at a time. CONCLUSION. The author will argue, based on aforementioned observations, that using fNIRS or a combination of EEG and fNIRS, in an intraoperative awareness monitoring system reliably, will increase the time and/or complexity of the setup, making it less feasible than a system based on EEG alone. Further research is needed to verify this argument.