Course Goals

  • Learn about a range of imaging modalities commonly used in clinical and translational research.
  • Understand how to evaluate whether or how well an imaging modality can be used in a given research study.

This online course is designed to give the researcher who might be new to imaging a better understanding of the current and future capabilities of common modalities for characterizing the brain, as well as information on relevant practical considerations. The technologies discussed in this course are:

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Magnetoencephalogram (MEG)
  • Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)
  • Quantitative near-infrared spectroscopy (qNIRS)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • Neuroanatomical MRI
    • Diffusion MRI of the brain
    • Functional MRI (resting state and task-based)
    • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the brain
    • Cerebrovascular monitoring

Imaging provides an important window into in vivo brain structure and function and is therefore an ideal tool for human brain research. When considering which imaging technique best answers a research question, it is important to think about fundamental mechanisms of interest and select the modality or combination of modalities that best captures them.

For each technology, experts will discuss and demonstrate the structure, operation, and workflow of the machine; data collection and analysis processes; multi-machine approaches; research considerations and decision criteria; and research applications. The course will focus on the use of each of these technologies for brain research rather than for clinical application.

Session dates

July 12 – September 29, 2023

Time commitment

Online coursework and assignments averaging two to four hours per week over 12 weeks.


Current or future investigators with an interest in using imaging technology in research.

We believe that the research community is strengthened by understanding how a number of factors including gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, culture, religion, national origin, language, disability, and age shape the environment in which we live and work, affect each of our personal identities, and impacts all areas of human health.


No prior experience with imaging is expected or required.


View Available Discounts

CEU Credits

This course is eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEU).

Harvard Catalyst’s Education Program designates that, upon completion of this course, participants have completed a total of 22 hours of continuing education units.

Course continuing education units may be claimed by, and awarded to, any individual who fulfills all course expectations. No partial credit is allowed. In order to receive CEU credits, participants must complete 100% of the course by the designated timelines listed in the course schedule provided in this syllabus. Completion of the course includes the following:

  • Watching all videos
  • Completing all quizzes
  • Completing all course surveys

Please note: this course is not eligible for AMA PRA CME credit.


The registration process is closed. Please check back for future opportunities.