Animals in the Brain

Mov Disord Clin Pract. 2019 Feb 28;6(3):189-198. doi: 10.1002/mdc3.12734. eCollection 2019 Mar.


Background: Pareidolic associations are commonly used in medical education to enhance perception of radiological abnormalities. A number of animal-inspired neuroradiological pareidolias have been defined which should alert clinicians to specific movement disorder diagnoses.

Methods: A review of the published literature detailing neuroradiological abnormalities in movement disorder syndromes was conducted, looking specifically for established animal-inspired pareidolic associations.

Results: A number of animal-inspired neuroradiological patterns with specific movement disorder associations have been defined. These include eye of the tiger sign, face of the panda sign, swallow tail sign, hummingbird sign, Mickey Mouse sign, ears of the lynx sign, dragonfly cerebellum, tadpole sign, tigroid/leopard skin sign, and bat wing sign.

Conclusion: Pareidolias represent a quick and easy way of enhancing perception, thereby improving the efficiency and accuracy of image analysis. Movement disorder physicians should keep in mind these associations, given that they will likely facilitate scan analysis.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; neuroimaging.

Publication types

  • Review