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Information processing in the primate brain is based on the complementary principles of modular and distributed information processing. The former emphasizes the specialization of functions within different brain areas. The latter emphasizes the massively parallel nature of brain networks and the fact that function also emerges from the flow of information between brain areas. The localization of function to specific brain areas ("functional segregation") is the commonest approach to investigating function; however, an emerging, complementary approach ("functional integration") describes function in terms of the information flow across networks of areas. Here, we highlight recent advances in neuroimaging methodology that have made it possible to investigate the anatomical architecture of networks in the living human brain with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). We also highlight recent thinking on the ways in which functional imaging can be used to characterize information transmission across networks in the human brain (functional and effective connectivity).

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.biopsych.2004.02.004

Type

Journal article

Journal

Biol Psychiatry

Publication Date

01/11/2004

Volume

56

Pages

613 - 619

Keywords

Animals, Brain, Brain Mapping, Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Nerve Net