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Keywords:

  • brain development;
  • design;
  • electroencephalography;
  • magnetoencephalography;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • nutrition

Nutrition affects brain structure and function throughout life. Nutritional scientists and practitioners are interested in gathering evidence clarifying which of the micro- or macronutrients may affect particular aspects of brain functioning at a given period of the life cycle and in identifying possible brain mechanisms underlying such effects. This article provides a primer on brain imaging techniques suitable for the assessment of the structure and function of the human brain, focusing on noninvasive techniques such as structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, and magnetoencephalography. The article concludes with a few suggestions regarding the choice of a particular imaging tool in observational studies and randomized controlled trials investigating nutritional effects on the human brain.