A dual-networks architecture of top-down control

Nico U.F. Dosenbach, Damien A. Fair, Alexander L. Cohen, Bradley L. Schlaggar, Steven E. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

977 Scopus citations

Abstract

Complex systems ensure resilience through multiple controllers acting at rapid and slower timescales. The need for efficient information flow through complex systems encourages small-world network structures. On the basis of these principles, a group of regions associated with top-down control was examined. Functional magnetic resonance imaging showed that each region had a specific combination of control signals; resting-state functional connectivity grouped the regions into distinct 'fronto-parietal' and 'cingulo-opercular' components. The fronto-parietal component seems to initiate and adjust control; the cingulo-opercular component provides stable 'set-maintenance' over entire task epochs. Graph analysis showed dense local connections within components and weaker 'long-range' connections between components, suggesting a small-world architecture. The control systems of the brain seem to embody the principles of complex systems, encouraging resilient performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

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