DEI Distinguished Lecturer Series - Maurizio Corbetta
From Simone Friso
September 29, 2016
Abstract: The brain is organized as a network of connections between nerve cells. Recent advances in functional neuroimaging show that large scale connections are organized in networks of brain regions. These networks are visualized at rest and surprisingly resemble networks recruited by common behaviors. An important question is the relationship between spontaneous and task-driven activity, not just at the level of topology, but also information patterns, and dynamics. I will argue that spontaneous activity patterns reflect the statistical history of co-activation, and represent the ensemble of possible brain states driven by behavior. In this regards, spontaneous activity patterns represent spatiotemporal priors for task patterns, which explains why abnormalities of brain networks at rest relate to behavioral deficits. In the second part of my talk I will show that focal lesion can cause specific patterns of brain network abnormalities that relate to behavioral deficits and recovery. These patterns represent a simplification of entropy of neural states. I will argue that treatments of brain disorders should focus on treating not only behavior but also abnormal information patterns.