During the past two decades there has been a dramatic rise in the use of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) as a neuroimaging technique in cognitive neuroscience research. Diffuse optical tomography (DOT) and optical topography (OT) can be employed as the optical imaging techniques for brain activity investigation. However, most current imagers with analogue detection are limited by sensitivity and dynamic range. Although photon-counting detection can significantly improve detection sensitivity, the intrinsic nature of sequential excitations reduces temporal resolution. To improve temporal resolution, sensitivity and dynamic range, we develop a multi-channel continuous-wave (CW) system for brain functional imaging based on a novel lock-in photon-counting technique. The system consists of 60 Light-emitting device (LED) sources at three wavelengths of 660nm, 780nm and 830nm, which are modulated by current-stabilized square-wave signals at different frequencies, and 12 photomultiplier tubes (PMT) based on lock-in photon-counting technique. This design combines the ultra-high sensitivity of the photon-counting technique with the parallelism of the digital lock-in technique. We can therefore acquire the diffused light intensity for all the source-detector pairs (SD-pairs) in parallel. The performance assessments of the system are conducted using phantom experiments, and demonstrate its excellent measurement linearity, negligible inter-channel crosstalk, strong noise robustness and high temporal resolution.