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Trends Cogn Sci. 2008 Mar;12(3):99-105. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2008.01.001. Epub 2008 Feb 11.

A dual-networks architecture of top-down control.

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  • 1Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine, 4525 Scott Ave, St Louis, MO 63110, USA. ndosenbach@wustl.edu

Abstract

Complex systems ensure resilience through multiple controllers acting at rapid and slower timescales. The need for efficient information flow through complex systems encourages small-world network structures. On the basis of these principles, a group of regions associated with top-down control was examined. Functional magnetic resonance imaging showed that each region had a specific combination of control signals; resting-state functional connectivity grouped the regions into distinct 'fronto-parietal' and 'cingulo-opercular' components. The fronto-parietal component seems to initiate and adjust control; the cingulo-opercular component provides stable 'set-maintenance' over entire task epochs. Graph analysis showed dense local connections within components and weaker 'long-range' connections between components, suggesting a small-world architecture. The control systems of the brain seem to embody the principles of complex systems, encouraging resilient performance.

PMID:
18262825
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3632449
Free PMC Article
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