The major area of biomagnetism research is the study of brain function using MEG. MEG can be thought of as the magnetic analog of electroencephalography (EEG), a well-established technique for recording electrical brain activity, or “brain waves”, from scalp electrodes. The main advantage of the MEG vis-`a-vis EEG, is improved source localization accuracy. Although its spatial resolving accuracy is not as reliable as that of positron emission tomography (PET) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), MEG has much higher temporal resolution. It provides an excellent combination of spatial and temporal resolution for the study of brain activity.
Recently, two clinical applications of MEG have been approved. The first is presurgical functional mapping of important brain functions, such as tactile sensation, motor function, and language. This is performed prior to complex brain surgeries, such as tumor surgeries. The second application is localization of epileptic foci in epilepsy surgery patients.