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Complexity theory emergence brain

Danielle S Bassett, Ankit N Khambhati, Scott T Grafton
Neuroengineering is faced with unique challenges in repairing or replacing complex neural systems that are composed of many interacting parts. These interactions form intricate patterns over large spatiotemporal scales and produce emergent behaviors that are difficult to predict from individual elements. Network science provides a particularly appropriate framework in which to study and intervene in such systems by treating neural elements (cells, volumes) as nodes in a graph and neural interactions (synapses, white matter tracts) as edges in that graph...
March 27, 2017: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Flaviano Morone, Kevin Roth, Byungjoon Min, H Eugene Stanley, Hernán A Makse
Efficient complex systems have a modular structure, but modularity does not guarantee robustness, because efficiency also requires an ingenious interplay of the interacting modular components. The human brain is the elemental paradigm of an efficient robust modular system interconnected as a network of networks (NoN). Understanding the emergence of robustness in such modular architectures from the interconnections of its parts is a longstanding challenge that has concerned many scientists. Current models of dependencies in NoN inspired by the power grid express interactions among modules with fragile couplings that amplify even small shocks, thus preventing functionality...
March 28, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Joana Cabral, Morten Kringelbach, Gustavo Deco
Over the last decade, we have observed a revolution in brain structural and functional Connectomics. On one hand, we have an ever-more detailed characterization of the brain's white matter structural connectome. On the other, we have a repertoire of consistent functional networks that form and dissipate over time during rest. Despite the evident spatial similarities between structural and functional connectivity, understanding how different time-evolving functional networks spontaneously emerge from a single structural network requires analyzing the problem from the perspective of complex network dynamics and dynamical system's theory...
March 23, 2017: NeuroImage
Dennis J McFarland
Theories of human mental abilities should be consistent with what is known in neuroscience. Currently, tests of human mental abilities are modeled by cognitive constructs such as attention, working memory, and speed of information processing. These constructs are in turn related to a single general ability. However, brains are very complex systems and whether most of the variability between the operations of different brains can be ascribed to a single factor is questionable. Research in neuroscience suggests that psychological processes such as perception, attention, decision, and executive control are emergent properties of interacting distributed networks...
February 14, 2017: Reviews in the Neurosciences
David Peterson
The 'psy' sciences emerged from the tangled roots of philosophy, physiology, biology and medicine, and these origins have produced heterogeneous fields. Scientists in these areas work in a complex, overlapping ecology of fields that results in the constant co-presence of dissonant theories, methods and research objects. This raises questions regarding how conceptual clarity is maintained. Using the optical metaphor 'depth of field', I show how researchers in all fields marginalize potential threats to routine scientific work by framing them as either too broad and imprecise or too narrow and technical...
February 2017: Social Studies of Science
Erik H Middlebrooks, Kaan Yagmurlu, Jerzey P Szaflarski, Maryam Rahman, Baran Bozkurt
INTRODUCTION: The emergence of advanced in vivo neuroimaging methods has redefined the understanding of brain function with a shift from traditional localizationist models to more complex and widely distributed neural networks. In human language processing, the traditional localizationist models of Wernicke and Broca have fallen out of favor for a dual-stream processing system involving complex networks organized over vast areas of the dominant hemisphere. The current review explores the cortical function and white matter connections of human language processing, as well as their relevance to surgical planning...
December 22, 2016: Neuroradiology
Carlos Castejon, Angel Nuñez
One of the most challenging problems we face in neuroscience is to understand how the cortex performs computations. There is increasing evidence that the power of the cortical processing is produced by populations of neurons forming dynamic neuronal ensembles. Theoretical proposals and multineuronal experimental studies have revealed that ensembles of neurons can form emergent functional units. However, how these ensembles are implicated in cortical computations is still a mystery. Although cell ensembles have been associated with brain rhythms, the functional interaction remains largely unclear...
2016: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Ankush Kawali, Ringhoo Theresa Jose, Aishwarya, Mathew Kurian, Kushal Kacha, Padmamalini Mahendradas, Rohit Shetty
BACKGROUND: Psycho-immunology is an emerging branch of science which studies the interaction between the brain and the immune system. The purpose of this study is to identify the types of personality factors in patients with non-infectious uveitis and to find its association with a particular uveitic entity if any. This is a prospective, observational, case-control study of 186 patients with non-infectious uveitis (group A) and controls from general ophthalmology outpatient department (group B)...
December 2016: Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection
Xiaoyuan Guo, Shannon L Edmed, Vicki Anderson, Justin Kenardy
OBJECTIVE: Various neurocognitive mechanisms have been proposed to explain the development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. However, the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying comorbid PTSD following Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) have not been fully investigated, especially among children. This study prospectively examined the influence of theorized neurocognitive deficits at 3 months post pediatric TBI on the development of PTSD symptoms 6 months postinjury. METHOD: One hundred sixty-six children aged between 6 and 14 years were recruited after sustaining a TBI...
January 2017: Neuropsychology
Lucy Knox, Jacinta M Douglas, Christine Bigby
PURPOSE: Although adults who sustain a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) require support to make decisions in their lives, little is known about their experience of this process. The aim of this study was to explore how participation in decision making contributes to self-conceptualization in adults with severe TBI. METHOD: We used constructivist grounded theory methods. Data included 20 in-depth interviews with adults with severe TBI. Through a process of constant comparison, analysis involved open and focused coding until clear categories emerged and data saturation was achieved...
August 22, 2016: Disability and Rehabilitation
F Goni-Saez, J Tirapu-Ustarroz
INTRODUCTION: Throughout the history of thought, science and philosophy have addressed the problem of mind-brain from different epistemic perspectives. The first covers specific areas of reality and constructs hypotheses with limited scope and multiple inter-scientific connectivity with the aim of validating theoretical models; the second extends its systemic architecture to all that is real (including scientific activity). DEVELOPMENT: The complexity of the mind-brain problem requires the generation of a link connecting the disciplines of philosophy and science; our onto-epistemological presuppositions therefore fall within the framework of a scientifically-oriented philosophy (scientific philosophy)...
August 1, 2016: Revista de Neurologia
Constantinos Siettos, Jens Starke
The extreme complexity of the brain naturally requires mathematical modeling approaches on a large variety of scales; the spectrum ranges from single neuron dynamics over the behavior of groups of neurons to neuronal network activity. Thus, the connection between the microscopic scale (single neuron activity) to macroscopic behavior (emergent behavior of the collective dynamics) and vice versa is a key to understand the brain in its complexity. In this work, we attempt a review of a wide range of approaches, ranging from the modeling of single neuron dynamics to machine learning...
September 2016: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine
Stojan Jovanović, Stefan Rotter
The study of processes evolving on networks has recently become a very popular research field, not only because of the rich mathematical theory that underpins it, but also because of its many possible applications, a number of them in the field of biology. Indeed, molecular signaling pathways, gene regulation, predator-prey interactions and the communication between neurons in the brain can be seen as examples of networks with complex dynamics. The properties of such dynamics depend largely on the topology of the underlying network graph...
June 2016: PLoS Computational Biology
Anthony Trewavas
A summary definition of some 70 descriptions of intelligence provides a definition for all other organisms including plants that stresses fitness. Barbara McClintock, a plant biologist, posed the notion of the 'thoughtful cell' in her Nobel prize address. The systems structure necessary for a thoughtful cell is revealed by comparison of the interactome and connectome. The plant root cap, a group of some 200 cells that act holistically in responding to numerous signals, likely possesses a similar systems structure agreeing with Darwin's description of acting like the brain of a lower organism...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
John D Salamone, Samantha E Yohn, Laura López-Cruz, Noemí San Miguel, Mercè Correa
Motivation has been defined as the process that allows organisms to regulate their internal and external environment, and control the probability, proximity and availability of stimuli. As such, motivation is a complex process that is critical for survival, which involves multiple behavioural functions mediated by a number of interacting neural circuits. Classical theories of motivation suggest that there are both directional and activational aspects of motivation, and activational aspects (i.e. speed and vigour of both the instigation and persistence of behaviour) are critical for enabling organisms to overcome work-related obstacles or constraints that separate them from significant stimuli...
May 2016: Brain: a Journal of Neurology
Jiang Zhang, Xiaohong Lin, Genyu Fu, Liyang Sai, Huafu Chen, Jianbo Yang, Mingwen Wang, Qi Liu, Gang Yang, Junran Zhang, Zhen Yuan
Deception is not a rare occurrence among human behaviors; however, the present brain mapping techniques are insufficient to reveal the neural mechanism of deception under spontaneous or controlled conditions. Interestingly, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has emerged as a highly promising neuroimaging technique that enables continuous and noninvasive monitoring of changes in blood oxygenation and blood volume in the human brain. In this study, fNIRS was used in combination with complex network theory to extract the attribute features of the functional brain networks underling deception in subjects exhibiting spontaneous or controlled behaviors...
2016: Scientific Reports
Soibam Shyamchand Singh, Budhachandra Khundrakpam, Andrew T Reid, John D Lewis, Alan C Evans, Romana Ishrat, B Indrajit Sharma, R K Brojen Singh
The organization in brain networks shows highly modular features with weak inter-modular interaction. The topology of the networks involves emergence of modules and sub-modules at different levels of constitution governed by fractal laws that are signatures of self-organization in complex networks. The modular organization, in terms of modular mass, inter-modular, and intra-modular interaction, also obeys fractal nature. The parameters which characterize topological properties of brain networks follow one parameter scaling theory in all levels of network structure, which reveals the self-similar rules governing the network structure...
2016: Scientific Reports
Anastasiya Slyepchenko, Michael Maes, Cristiano A Köhler, George Anderson, João Quevedo, Gilberto S Alves, Michael Berk, Brisa S Fernandes, André F Carvalho
The exact pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD) remains elusive. The monoamine theory, which hypothesizes that MDD emerges as a result of dysfunctional serotonergic, dopaminergic and noradrenergic pathways, has guided the therapy of this illness for several decades. More recently, the involvement of activated immune, oxidative and nitrosative stress pathways and of decreased levels of neurotrophic factors has provided emerging insights regarding the pathophysiology of MDD, leading to integrated theories emphasizing the complex interplay of these mechanisms that could lead to neuroprogression...
May 2016: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Peter Stratton, Michael Hasselmo, Michael Milford
Complex brains evolved in order to comprehend and interact with complex environments in the real world. Despite significant progress in our understanding of perceptual representations in the brain, our understanding of how the brain carries out higher level processing remains largely superficial. This disconnect is understandable, since the direct mapping of sensory inputs to perceptual states is readily observed, while mappings between (unknown) stages of processing and intermediate neural states is not. We argue that testing theories of higher level neural processing on robots in the real world offers a clear path forward, since (1) the complexity of the neural robotic controllers can be staged as necessary, avoiding the almost intractable complexity apparent in even the simplest current living nervous systems; (2) robotic controller states are fully observable, avoiding the enormous technical challenge of recording from complete intact brains; and (3) unlike computational modelling, the real world can stand for itself when using robots, avoiding the computational intractability of simulating the world at an arbitrary level of detail...
November 15, 2016: Journal of Physiology
David Mears, Harvey B Pollard
Over the past 15 years, the emerging field of network science has revealed the key features of brain networks, which include small-world topology, the presence of highly connected hubs, and hierarchical modularity. The value of network studies of the brain is underscored by the range of network alterations that have been identified in neurological and psychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, depression, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and many others. Here we briefly summarize the concepts of graph theory that are used to quantify network properties and describe common experimental approaches for analysis of brain networks of structural and functional connectivity...
June 2016: Journal of Neuroscience Research
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