The Use of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Electroencephalogram (EEG) during Self-Reflection: A Scoping Review


  • Fatini Md Said School of Education, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Narina A. Samah School of Education, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Hadijah Jaffri School of Education, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Ahmad Zuri Sha'ameri Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Taha Mahmoud Al-Naimi Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia



Neuroimaging, fMRI, EEG, self-reflection


The integration of two fields, which are neuroscience and psychology has allowed a deeper understanding of the mental processes in the human mind, through the observation of biological and chemical processes in the brain and nervous system. Even though the gap between neuroscience and the human behavioral sciences is still large, the advancement of technology has helped narrow the gap, especially over the past two decades. This scoping review is aimed to explore the currently published research on self-reflection using the fMRI and the EEG. The present study describes the scope of existing research, and summarizes findings and recommendations for future work. The scoping review methodology guided by the standards of the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) was used. Comprehensive searches on the use of the fMRI and the EEG during self-reflection studies were conducted using several electronic databases including Scopus, Science Direct, Web of Science, Emerald Insights, and PubMed. The results obtained showed that all studies did not justify the sample size. The findings also revealed that various terms were used to describe the cognitive aspect of a self-reflection process. The brain functional connectivity data were taken through several experimental stages, which shows the flexibility of the experimental process. The activation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is one of the most commonly found regions in most studies, together with other areas associated with the self-reflection process.  Based on the results obtained, this scoping review is believed to provide a comprehensive summary of the existing research on self-reflection using neuroimaging techniques.


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