Brain Imaging Techniques (+9 Scientific uses)

This detailed article will be describing in detail the various Brain Imaging Techniques which are available in the market today. We will also be checking out the various uses of brain imaging techniques and their indications.

Brain Imaging Techniques

The various Brain Imaging Techniques which are currently used in the market today have been discussed in the following section.

Electroencephalography (EEG)

Electroencephalography or EEG is perhaps the oldest form of brain imaging available. This technique of brain imaging simply measures your brain waves. The waves will be measured as a graph on a computer which will be then read by a medical professional.

EEG tests are done by attaching electrodes to a person’s scalp which are connected to a computer. Through EEG tests, a medical professional will be able to tell if the person is suffering from anxiety, epilepsy or even from insomnia and other sleep ailments.

Computerized Tomography (CT)

Computerized Tomography or CT is another very common method of brain imaging and scanning. The concept of CT is very simple. This type of test simply relies on X-rays which are then observed as a cross-sectional image of the brain.

Through CT or Computerized Tomography scans, a medical professional will be able to tell if the brain has been injured and to what extent the injuries have affected the person. CT scans will also show locations of hemorrhages and even display effects of illnesses like schizophrenia.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging is another great brain managing technique which can display tremendous amounts of information about the brain’s activities. Through fMRIs, the medical professional will be able to evaluate the activity in the brain and find anomalies.

fMRI scans use magnetic fields to find the blood flow in the brain and the oxygen levels by influencing hydrogen nuclei. fMRI scans are also heavily important for brain surgeries to create a roadmap of the area to be worked upon.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Positron Emissions Tomography or PET uses a tracer in the blood which attaches itself to the glucose molecules. Through this tracer, the affected or non-affected areas of the brain will be displayed clearly in the scan.

PET scans are important for evaluations of particular conditions like epilepsy or even Alzheimer’s disease since these can cause changes in the blood vessels of the brain anatomy. Tumors can also be studied better through PET scans.

Magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Magnetoencephalography or MEG also uses the magnetic field to study the brain and its activities. This type of scan assesses the magnetic field of neurons and displays any malfunctions or deformities in neural activity in the brain.

Through Magnetoencephalography a medical professional will be able to tell the sources of seizures in a person. This type of scan is not only used for conditions but even for research purposes since it can show the sensory-motor areas of a person’s brain.

Cranial ultrasound

This is a pretty straightforward ultrasound of the cranium. But, cranial ultrasounds are rarely used for adults and are mostly used for babies since they have an open fontanelle which allows easy ultrasound imaging.

Single-photon emission computed tomography

Single-photon emissions computed tomography or SPECT uses gamma ray emitting radioisotopes to visually present the layout of the brain and its activities. Through this scan, the blood flow to various areas of the brain can be easily seen.

SPECT scans are great for studying epilepsy in a person since seizures can come and go at any time. Furthermore, they are also used to study dementia and even Parkinson’s disease in any person.

Event-related optical signal (EROS)

Event-Related Optical Signal or EROS is not so commonly used but is also pretty useful since it is completely non-invasive. Through the EROS scans, the optical properties of the cerebral cortex can be displayed and studied.

EROS mainly uses infrared light with the help of optical fibers to show the different areas of the brain. This scan is great for studying brain activity at a depth of a certain millimeters but not useful for studying areas in the brain which are lying deeper than a few centimeters.

Functional Ultrasound Imaging (fUS)

Functional Ultrasound Imaging or fUS can also be used to study the brain and its activities. This ultrasound assesses the neural activities of the brain by evaluating changes in blood flow to different areas of the brain.

Uses of Brain Imaging Techniques

Brain Imaging Techniques are used for a variety of reasons but mainly for studying certain medical conditions. Some of the main uses of Brain Imaging Techniques have been discussed as follows.

For studying the brain’s effect on different functions

One of the most common uses of brain imaging techniques is to simply learn more about the different areas of the brain and the different functions that they may have. This not only allows professionals to learn more about the human body but also come up with new solutions.

To identify the effect of different stimuli

Human brains respond differently to different stimuli and brain imaging techniques can be great for understanding how various functions are manifested in the body. Most of these studies are conducted in human labs, while others may take place in hospitals and clinics.

For assessing brain injuries

Brain injuries may be pretty hard to study since the brain itself is a very sensitive organ. Through Brain Imaging Techniques, medical professionals will be able to clearly understand the depth and levels of brain injuries and predict their after-effects.

For identifying the locations of tumors

The location of brain tumors may also be pretty hard to understand. But through brain imaging techniques, not only their locations but also the effects that they may have on the body can be understood better.

For the purpose of brain surgeries

Before a surgeon operates on a person’s brain, they often create a roadmap of the internal area which they need to work on through brain imaging techniques. This will ensure that they don’t disturb any other area in the brain and create more damage to the body.

For understanding the after-effects of a stroke

For the purpose of understanding the after-effects of a stroke, brain imaging techniques can be used. Most strokes are understood by the effects that they may have on the human body, but through the means of brain imaging, the extent of a stroke can be easily studied.

For understanding the developments of diseases

Certain diseases like dementia and Parkinson’s can be hard to study and understand, particularly when it comes to their courses. But through the means of brain imaging techniques, a person can understand the developments of various brain ailments.

For understanding mental health conditions

Just like medical conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s, mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and others can also cause changes in the brain structure and anatomy. Brain imaging can not only be used to study these conditions but also help in treatment.

For learning more about human psychology

Human psychology is not just about feelings but more about neurochemical changes in the brain. Through the use of brain imaging techniques, human psychology can be studied and understood on a scientific basis.

Studying psychology in a scientific manner such as this will allow people to understand feelings and behaviors in a better manner. Furthermore, it can also help in breaking taboos and misconceptions about the human mind and mental health.


This detailed article has described in detail the various Brain Imaging Techniques which are available in the market today. We have also checked out the various uses of brain imaging techniques and their indications.

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