The challenges and promise of neuroimaging in psychiatry

Neuron. 2012 Jan 12;73(1):8-22. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.12.014.


Neuroimaging is central to the quest for a biological foundation of psychiatric diagnosis but so far has not yielded clinically relevant biomarkers for mental disorders. This review addresses potential reasons for this limitation and discusses refinements of paradigms and analytic techniques that may yield improved diagnostic and prognostic accuracy. Neuroimaging can also be used to probe genetically defined biological pathways underlying mental disorders, for example through the genetic imaging of variants discovered in genome-wide association studies. These approaches may ultimately reveal mechanisms through which genes contribute to psychiatric symptoms and how pharmacological and psychological interventions exert their effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Neuroimaging / classification
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Psychiatry*