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Trends Cogn Sci. 2013 Dec;17(12):606-15. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2013.09.014. Epub 2013 Oct 29.

Neurocognitive biases and the patterns of spontaneous correlations in the human cortex.

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Neurobiology Department, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


When the brain is 'at rest', spatiotemporal activity patterns emerge spontaneously, that is, in the absence of an overt task. However, what these patterns reveal about cortical function remains elusive. In this article, we put forward the hypothesis that the correlation patterns among these spontaneous fluctuations (SPs) reflect the profile of individual a priori cognitive biases, coded as synaptic efficacies in cortical networks. Thus, SPs offer a new means for mapping personal traits in both neurotypical and atypical cases. Three sets of observations and related empirical evidence provide support for this hypothesis. First, SPs correspond to activation patterns that occur during typical task performance. Second, individual differences in SPs reflect individual biases and abnormalities. Finally, SPs can be actively remodeled in a long-term manner by focused and intense cortical training.


BOLD-fMRI; a priori biases; cortex; human; resting state; spontaneous activity

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