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Using Brain Scans for Psychiatric Diagnosis

Ethics of Brain Imaging

Excellent panel discussion on issues involved in using brain imaging for psychiatry from the Neuroethics Learning Collaborative, featuring three leading experts. They begin with a mention of Daniel Amen’s claim that he can use SPECT imaging to diagnose and treat psychiatric illnesses. Most psychiatrists and psychologists, however, base diagnoses on a person’s behaviour and perception rather than brain structure. The panel explains how a biological basis for behaviour differs from biological disease, and ethical and technical issues involved in the potential use of neuroimaging for diagnosis. They also touch on the use of neuroimaging in law. Although it isn’t the focus of their discussion, it also happens to address a perennial criticism of antipsychiatry activists about why biological tests aren’t used for mental health issues. Hat tip: @gkaguirre.

Using Brain Scans for Psychiatric Diagnosis

Sandra Kiume

Sandra Kiume is a mental health advocate from Vancouver, Canada, and the founder of @unsuicide. Along with maintaining Channel N, she contributes to World of Psychology.

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APA Reference
Kiume, S. (2010). Using Brain Scans for Psychiatric Diagnosis. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 20, 2018, from


Last updated: 26 Mar 2010
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Mar 2010
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