A novel brain shift tracking protocol is introduced in this paper which utilizes laser range scan (LRS) data and 2D deformable image registration. This protocol builds on previous efforts to incorporate intra-operative LRS data into a model-updated image guided surgery paradigm for brain shift compensation. The shift tracking method employs the use of a LRS system capable of capturing textures of the intra-operative scene during range data acquisition. Textures from serial range images are then registered using a 2D deformable registration approach that uses local support radial basis functions and mutual information. Given the deformation field provided by the registration, 3D points in serial LRS datasets can then be tracked. Results from this paper indicate that the error associated with tracking brain movement is 1.1 on average given brain shifts of approximately 20.5. Equally important, a strategy is presented to rapidly acquire intra-operative measurements of shift which are compatible with model-based strategies for brain deformation compensation.