Previously we developed a low-cost, multi-configurable handheld response system, using a reflective-type intensity modulated fiber-optic sensor (FOS)  to accurately gather participants' behavioral responses during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Inspired by the popularity and omnipresence of the fingertip-based touch sensing user interface devices, in this paper we present the design of a prototype fMRI-compatible optical touch stripe (OTS) as an alternative configuration. The prototype device takes advantage of a proven frustrated total internal reflection (FTIR) technique. By using a custom-built wedge-shaped optically transparent acrylic prism as an optical waveguide, and a plano-concave lens to provide the required light beam profile, the position of a fingertip touching the surface of the wedge prism can be determined from the deflected light beams that become trapped within the prism by total internal reflection. To achieve maximum sensitivity, the optical design of the wedge prism and lens were optimized through a series of light beam simulations using WinLens 3D Basic software suite. Furthermore, OTS performance and MRI-compatibility were assessed on a 3.0 Tesla MRI scanner running echo planar imaging (EPI) sequences. The results show that the OTS can detect a touch signal at high spatial resolution (about 0.5 cm), and is well suited for use within the MRI environment with average time-variant signal-to-noise ratio (tSNR) loss <; 3%.