Talk:Neurocognitive networks

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    I liked this entry which provides a concise and very helpful overview of the principal organization and function of brain connectivity. The article sets a useful starting point for further exploration and gives an extensive reference list for further reading. Given its brevity, the entry cannot go much into detail. Some of the concepts, however, might benefit from additional explanation and references. Specific suggestions are given below. In addition, perhaps some concrete examples would help to illustrate the described concepts?


    1st para. Would it be possible to start off with a definition of 'neurocognitive networks'?

    2nd para. The distributed network concept may be even older than mentioned here and was beautifully summarized by von Bonin and Bailey (1947): ”Clearly what an area does depends on its extrinsic connections, both with other areas and with subcortical structures, while how an area does it, depends on its intrinsic structure.” (von Bonin, G.; Bailey, P. (1947) The neocortex of Macaca mulatta. Urbana, Ill: University of Illinois Press.)

    3rd para. Much of this paragraph is about methodology, rather than concepts. Are these points essential?

    4th para, end. The recent article by Honey et al. (2007) (PNAS 104:10240) could be cited to supplement the point about (shorter) time scales.


    1st para. Hilgetag et al. (1996) is an analysis paper based on published connectivity data and did not really 'detail interconnectivity patterns'. It might be better to refer to the extensive compilations by Burns & Young (2000) (Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 355:55) for the rat, Scannell et al. (1995) (J Neurosci 15:1463) and Scannell et al. (1999) (Cereb Cortex 9:277) for the cat and Stephan et al. (2001) (Philos Trans R Soc Lond 356:1159) for the monkey at this point. Links to the BAMS ( and CoCoMac ( connectivity databases might also be useful.

    2nd para. As stated here, the paragraph describes _sequential_ aspects of connectional organization. The hierarchy concept put forward by Felleman & Van Essen (1991), however, is based on the laminar patterns of projection origins and terminations. These two aspects are frequently confused, which makes it even more important to express them clearly here. For a discussion of topological (sequential) vs. hierarchical organization of cortical projections also see Petroni et al (2001) (Neuroreport 12:2753). For a recent re-evaluation of the usefulness of the hierarchical concept for explaining visual cortical function see Hegde & Felleman (2007) (Neuroscientist 13:416).

    4th para. On the small-world structure of cortical networks. An important point here is that cortical networks form _multiple_ network modules (which is not necessarily a requirement of SW organization), and that these modules agree with identified functional subdivisions (visual, auditory, etc.) of the cerebral cortex, hinting on a close link between structural cortical connectivity and function (Hilgetag et al. 2000) (Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 355:91).

    "... and minimization of the total volume of fiber tracts." This point has been investigated analytically by Kaiser & Hilgetag (2006) (PLoS Comput Biol 2:e95).


    1st para. The article by Friston (2005) (Philos Trans R Soc Lond 360:815) may be worth citing for the point on iterative interactions among cortical areas.

    3rd para. The article by Honey et al. (2007), already mentioned above, should be included as citation for the last point.

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