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Trends Cogn Sci. 2010 Jun;14(6):277-90. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 20.

Large-scale brain networks in cognition: emerging methods and principles.

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Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA.


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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