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In this article, we motivate models of medium to large-scale neural activity that place an emphasis on the modular nature of neocortical organization and discuss the occurrence of nonlinear interdependence in such models. On the basis of their functional, anatomical, and physiological properties, it is argued that cortical columns may be treated as the basic dynamical modules of cortical systems. Coupling between these 1264 M. Breakspear and J. R. Terry columns is introduced to represent sparsedoi:10.1080/00207450290026193 pmid:12587526 fatcat:dtp32nkmnzcqpd43ys43al4rhq