Functional significance of complex fluctuations in brain activity: from resting state to cognitive neuroscience

David Papo
2014 Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience  
Behavioral studies have shown that human cognition is characterized by properties such as temporal scale invariance, heavy-tailed non-Gaussian distributions, and long-range correlations at long time scales, suggesting models of how (non observable) components of cognition interact. On the other hand, results from functional neuroimaging studies show that complex scaling and intermittency may be generic spatio-temporal properties of the brain at rest. Somehow surprisingly, though, hardly ever
more » ... e the neural correlates of cognition been studied at time scales comparable to those at which cognition shows scaling properties. Here, we analyze the meanings of scaling properties and the significance of their task-related modulations for cognitive neuroscience. It is proposed that cognitive processes can be framed in terms of complex generic properties of brain activity at rest and, ultimately, of functional equations, limiting distributions, symmetries, and possibly universality classes characterizing them.
doi:10.3389/fnsys.2014.00112 pmid:24966818 pmcid:PMC4052734 fatcat:mjpt6r45zjhl5b7fiagdzbo4ee