Large-scale networks in cognition: emerging methods and principles. Trends Cogn Sci

Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA.
Trends in Cognitive Sciences (Impact Factor: 21.97). 06/2010; 14(6):277-90. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.04.004
Source: PubMed


An understanding of how the human brain produces cognition ultimately depends on knowledge of large-scale brain organization. Although it has long been assumed that cognitive functions are attributable to the isolated operations of single brain areas, we demonstrate that the weight of evidence has now shifted in support of the view that cognition results from the dynamic interactions of distributed brain areas operating in large-scale networks. We review current research on structural and functional brain organization, and argue that the emerging science of large-scale brain networks provides a coherent framework for understanding of cognition. Critically, this framework allows a principled exploration of how cognitive functions emerge from, and are constrained by, core structural and functional networks of the brain.

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Available from: Steven L Bressler, Oct 04, 2015
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    • "Because of this ubiquity, some authors have considered synchronized oscillations merely a proxy for excitatory-inhibitory interactions (Merker, 2013; Ray and Maunsell, 2015), whereas others considered neuronal synchronization a fundamental computational principle (Fries, 2009; Bosman et al., 2014). Nevertheless, wide evidence sustains the notion that oscillatory phase-based relationships allow dynamic modulation in different brain structures (Engel et al., 2001; Salinas and Sejnowski, 2001; Varela et al., 2001; Fries, 2009; Bressler and Menon, 2010; Donner and Siegel, 2011; Singer, 2013; Bosman et al., 2014; Womelsdorf et al., 2014). Moreover, it has been recently proposed that neuronal oscillations can play a major role in predictive coding strategies (Bastos et al., 2012), which are pivotal in the implementation of inferential functionality in the brain (Rao and Ballard, 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Regardless of major anatomical and neurodevelopmental differences, the vertebrate isocortex shows a remarkably well-conserved organization. In the isocortex, reciprocal connections between excitatory and inhibitory neurons are distributed across multiple layers, encompassing modular, dynamical and recurrent functional networks during information processing. These dynamical brain networks are often organized in neuronal assemblies interacting through rhythmic phase relationships. Accordingly, these oscillatory interactions are observed across multiple brain scale levels, and they are associated with several sensory, motor, and cognitive processes. Most notably, oscillatory interactions are also found in the complete spectrum of vertebrates. Yet, it is unknown why this functional organization is so well conserved in evolution. In this perspective, we propose some ideas about how functional requirements of the isocortex can account for the evolutionary stability observed in microcircuits across vertebrates. We argue that isocortex architectures represent canonical microcircuits resulting from: (i) the early selection of neuronal architectures based on the oscillatory excitatory-inhibitory balance, which lead to the implementation of compartmentalized oscillations and (ii) the subsequent emergence of inferential coding strategies (predictive coding), which are able to expand computational capacities. We also argue that these functional constraints may be the result of several advantages that oscillatory activity contributes to brain network processes, such as information transmission and code reliability. In this manner, similarities in mesoscale brain circuitry and input-output organization between different vertebrate groups may reflect evolutionary constraints imposed by these functional requirements, which may or may not be traceable to a common ancestor.
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 10/2015; 9:00303. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00303 · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    • "The present results also suggest the 'efficient' network-wide transfer of neural information among distal brain regions via white matter tracts are responsible for the complex cognitive functions (Bressler and Menon, 2010) supporting intellectual function (Glascher et al., 2010). "
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    • "Spontaneous brain activity exhibits large-scale spatio-temporal correlations that are observed both in neuronal electric activity and in fluctuations of cerebral blood flow (Biswal et al. 1995; Jerbi et al. 2010), and they are correlated with behavioral states (Raichle 2010; Palva and Palva 2011a; Hutchison et al. 2013). It is now well documented in the direct electrical measures of neuronal activity that a range of brain functions emerge in these networks that bind together into dynamically changing functional constellations (Bressler and Menon 2010; Uhlhaas et al. 2010; Palva and Palva 2011a). "
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    ABSTRACT: Large-scale coupling in neuronal activity is essential in all cognitive functions, but its emergence and functional correlates are poorly known in the human newborn. This study aimed to characterize functional connectivity in the healthy human newborn, and to identify the changes in connectivity related to vigilance states and to maturation during the early postnatal weeks. We recorded active and quiet sleep of 38 sleeping newborn babies using multichannel electroencephalography (EEG) at 2 neonatal time points. Functional connectivity between brain areas was quantified with 3 different metrics: phase-phase correlations, amplitude-amplitude correlations (AACs), and phase-amplitude correlations. All functional connectivity measures changed significantly between vigilance states and matured rapidly after normal birth. The observed changes were frequency-specific, most salient in AAC coupling, and their development was compatible with the known development of structural cortico-cortical connectivity. The present findings support the view that emerging functional connectivity exhibits fundamental differences between sleep states months before the onset of genuine EEG signatures of sleep states. Moreover, our findings also support the idea that early cortical events entail different mechanisms of functional coupling needed to provide endogenous guidance for early activity-dependent development of brain networks.
    Cerebral Cortex 09/2015; DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhv219 · 8.67 Impact Factor
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