Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a functional neuroimaging tool that can record activity from the entire cortex on the order of milliseconds. MEG has been used to investigate numerous psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, dementia, and autism spectrum disorder. Although several review papers on the subject have been published, perspectives and opinions regarding the use of MEG in psychiatric research have primarily been discussed from a psychiatric research point of view. Owing to a newly developed MEG sensor, the use of MEG devices will soon enter a critical period, and now is a good time to discuss the future of MEG use in psychiatric research. In this paper, we will discuss MEG devices from a methodological point of view. We will first introduce the utilization of MEG in psychiatric research and the development of its technology. Then, we will describe the principle theory of MEG and common algorithms, which are useful for applying MEG tools to psychiatric research. Next, we will consider three topics—child psychiatry, resting-state networks, and cortico-subcortical networks—and address the future use of MEG in psychiatry from a broader perspective. Finally, we will introduce the newly developed device, the optically-pumped magnetometer, and discuss its future use in MEG systems in psychiatric research from a methodological point of view. We believe that state-of-the-art electrophysiological tools, such as this new MEG system, will further contribute to our understanding of the core pathology in various psychiatric disorders and translational research.
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