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Biosystems. 2007 Sep-Oct;90(2):496-508. Epub 2006 Dec 8.

Metastability, criticality and phase transitions in brain and its models.

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1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, Engineering Science Building, 1 University Station, C0800, Austin, TX 78712-0238, USA. gwer1@mail.utexas.edu

Abstract

This survey of experimental findings and theoretical insights of the past 25 years places the brain firmly into the conceptual framework of nonlinear dynamics, operating at the brink of criticality, which is achieved and maintained by self-organization. It is here the basis for proposing that the application of the twin concepts of scaling and universality of the theory of non-equilibrium phase transitions can serve as an informative approach for elucidating the nature of underlying neural-mechanisms, with emphasis on the dynamics of recursively reentrant activity flow in intracortical and cortico-subcortical neuronal loops.

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