Developing control-theoretic objectives for large-scale brain dynamics and cognitive enhancement

Matthew F. Singh, Michael W. Cole, Todd S. Braver, Shi Nung Ching

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The development of technologies for brain stimulation provides a means for scientists and clinicians to directly actuate the brain and nervous system. Brain stimulation has shown intriguing potential in terms of modifying particular symptom clusters in patients and behavioral characteristics of subjects. The stage is thus set for optimization of these techniques and the pursuit of more nuanced stimulation objectives, including the modification of complex cognitive functions such as memory and attention. Control theory and engineering will play a key role in the development of these methods, guiding computational and algorithmic strategies for stimulation. In particular, realizing this goal will require new development of frameworks that allow for controlling not only brain activity, but also latent dynamics that underlie neural computation and information processing. In the current opinion, we review recent progress in brain stimulation and outline challenges and potential research pathways associated with exogenous control of cognitive function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-376
Number of pages14
JournalAnnual Reviews in Control
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Brain dynamics
  • Brain stimulation
  • Neural reachability
  • Neurocontrol theory


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