Near-infrared spectroscopy is a novel imaging technique potentially sensitive to both brain hemodynamics (slow signal) and neuronal activity (fast optical signal, FOS). The big challenge of measuring FOS noninvasively lies in the presumably low signal-to-noise ratio. Thus, detectability of the FOS has been controversially discussed. We present reliable detection of FOS from 11 individuals concurrently with electroencephalogram (EEG) during a Go-NoGo task. Probes were placed bilaterally over prefrontal cortex. Independent component analysis (ICA) was used for artifact removal. Correlation coefficient in the best correlated FOS–EEG ICA pairs was highly significant (p < 10−8), and event-related optical signal (EROS) was found in all subjects. Several EROS components were similar to the event-related potential (ERP) components. The most robust “optical N200” at t = 225 ms coincided with the N200 ERP; both signals showed significant difference between targets and nontargets, and their timing correlated with subject's reaction time. Correlation between FOS and EEG even in single trials provides further evidence that at least some FOS components “reflect” electrical brain processes directly. The data provide evidence for the early involvement of prefrontal cortex in rapid object recognition. EROS is highly localized and can provide cost-effective imaging tools for cortical mapping of cognitive processes.