Image segmentation is vital when analyzing medical images, especially magnetic resonance (MR) images of the brain. Recently, several image segmentation techniques based onmultilevel thresholding have been proposed for medical image segmentation; however, the algorithms become trapped in local minima and have low convergence speeds, particularly as the number of threshold levels increases. Consequently, in this paper, we develop a new multilevel thresholding image segmentation technique based on the jellyfish search algorithm (JSA) (an optimizer).We modify the JSA to prevent descents into local minima, and we accelerate convergence toward optimal solutions. The improvement is achieved by applying two novel strategies: Rankingbased updating and an adaptive method. Ranking-based updating is used to replace undesirable solutions with other solutions generated by a novel updating scheme that improves the qualities of the removed solutions. We develop a new adaptive strategy to exploit the ability of the JSA to find a best-so-far solution; we allow a small amount of exploration to avoid descents into local minima. The two strategies are integrated with the JSA to produce an improved JSA (IJSA) that optimally thresholds brain MR images. To compare the performances of the IJSA and JSA, seven brain MR images were segmented at threshold levels of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30. IJSA was compared with several other recent image segmentation algorithms, including the improved and standard marine predator algorithms, the modified salp and standard salp swarm algorithms, the equilibrium optimizer, and the standard JSA in terms of fitness, the Structured Similarity Index Metric (SSIM), the peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR), the standard deviation (SD), and the Features Similarity IndexMetric (FSIM). The experimental outcomes and theWilcoxon rank-sum test demonstrate the superiority of the proposed algorithm in terms of the FSIM, the PSNR, the objective values, and the SD; in terms of the SSIM, IJSA was competitive with the others.