The emergent properties of the connected brain
Science. 2022-11-04; 378(6619): 505-510
There is more to brain connections than the mere transfer of signals between brain regions. Behavior and cognition emerge through cortical area interaction. This requires integration between local and distant areas orchestrated by densely connected networks. Brain connections determine the brain’s functional organization. The imaging of connections in the living brain has provided an opportunity to identify the driving factors behind the neurobiology of cognition. Connectivity differences between species and among humans have furthered the understanding of brain evolution and of diverging cognitive profiles. Brain pathologies amplify this variability through disconnections and, consequently, the disintegration of cognitive functions. The prediction of long-term symptoms is now preferentially based on brain disconnections. This paradigm shift will reshape our brain maps and challenge current brain models.