Difference Between EEG and MRI

Medical science has taken off its journey to a very extended path and, with all its equipment, has opened the doors we did not even know existed. Even though we take advantage of all the advanced medical science, we do not always know the difference between different devices. EEG and MRI are two such devices whose functions might confuse as at times.


The main difference between EEG and MRI is that EEG is used to know about the functions of brain waves, while MRI is used to get image vision of our brain. EEG is less expensive than an MRI scanner, and everyone can not afford it. Centres need a large number of funds to be able to afford it.


Electroencephalography, or EEG, was built to evaluate the electrical activities of the brain. It is done by placing electrodes on our scalp. It can tell us how much active the brain is. It is useful for a person who is suffering from epilepsy.

MRI offers an image of the brain. It is like a map. By using this map, doctors can observe unusual activities that might take place in the brain, for instance, tumours. MRI scanner is also very complicated to operate. It requires a highly trained professional.

Comparison Table Between EEG and MRI

Parameters of ComparisonEEGMRI
Full form EEG means electroencephalography. MRI means Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
ObjectiveEEG is used to analyse brain wave functioning.MRI scanners create an image of the brain.
Process of workTo analyse brain functions EEG uses electrical impulses that are exclusively generated by the neurons.MRI creates the image of the brain by using magnetic fields and radio waves.
Used materialEEG is made with electrical impulses to get made.MRI is made with magnetic fields and radio waves.
CostEEG is not as expensive as an MRI machine, it is accessible to many researchers and research centres. MRI devices are very expensive, it can be afforded only by huge amounts of funds.
PortabilityEEG is a portable device. It has two options, fully portable as well as semi-portable. MRI devices are not portable at all.
Expertise One can use the EEG machine with a bit of basic training.To use an MRI machine, one needs to have extensive training beforehand.

What is EEG?

EEG is short for electroencephalography. This is a special machine. It utilises neuron generated electrical impulses to narrate the activity and functions of brains. The process to use this device is rather easy. This machine is attached to the scalp in order to get used. In this process, the machine records the electrical impulses of the brain successfully. Our neurons produce electrical stimuli, and this device record those. Experts can observe abnormalities by examining the records.

If the condition is suspicious, then the doctors can take necessary measures for it. It is an ideal machine to detect epilepsy. In epilepsy, the waves brain produce in EEG test are usually very sharp and in spikes.

EEG machines are quite affordable, and it produces results promptly. It is also not very complicated to use. One can use it effortlessly after few training sessions. It also has the facility of being portable. This machine comes as fully portable and semi-portable.

What is MRI?

MRI gives us a static, anatomical image of the brain. Through this image, we can see if there is anything abnormal happening. MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses magnets. The objective of MRI is to use a magnetic field in the body to generate an image. It is often used to detect tumours in the brain.

This advanced diagnostic methodology operates with magnets and radio waves. Not only the brain but any other Internal body part can be subjected to visualise in this process.

MRI machines are very costly, and their maintenance also costs a fortune. This is why it can only be affordable with huge funding behind it. To use this scanner skillfully, one has to be a professional. One needs to achieve in-depth training and be an expert to use it.

Main Differences Between EEG and MRI

  1. EEG is electroencephalography, and the full form of MRI is Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
  2. EEG analyse the functions of brain wave whereas MRI scanners generate an image of the brain.
  3. EEG is capable of measuring brain activity directly, but MRI can only provide the structure of the brain. But its spatial resolution is higher.
  4. EEG uses electrical impulses to perform its functions, but MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to perform its purpose.
  5. EEG machines can be shifted as they are portable. They have two portability options, one is fully portable, and the other is semi-portable. On the other hand, MRI scanners are not at all portable.
  6. EEG machines cost less than MRI scanners. Centres need substantial funds in order to afford an MRI scanner.
  7. One can learn to operate EEG after few training sessions. But to operate an MRI scanner, a fully trained person is needed as it is not very easy to run.


To cure any disease, first, we need to detect the disease. And it is possible only with diagnosis and tests. For diagnosis and testing, we have many devices and equipment. The breakthrough curing has been possible only because medical science has offered advanced diagnosis devices. EEG and MRI are two modern advanced technologies that are ideal for detecting any ailment and abnormality. A disease can be observed easily with the help of these two devices.

EEG is cheaper than MRI, so it is often chosen over MRI. EEG is affordable and quick. MRI is not only expensive while buying but its maintenance is also very costly. The right test for you will be decided by your doctor.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/088789949290028W
  2. https://journals.lww.com/clinicalneurophys/Fulltext/2004/07000/EEG_Functional_MRI_in_Epilepsy__The_Queen_Square.2.aspx
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