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The chronoarchitecture of the human brain: functional anatomy based on natural brain dynamics and on the principle of functional independence

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Bartels,  A
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bartels, A. (2004). The chronoarchitecture of the human brain: functional anatomy based on natural brain dynamics and on the principle of functional independence. In R. Frackowiak, K. Friston, C. Frith, & R. Dolan (Eds.), Human Brain Function (2., pp. 201-229). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Academic Press.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-F359-6
Abstract
This chapter discusses the principle of functional independence. It states that feature independence in the external world led to the evolutionary segregation of areas that process them, and that therefore all functionally specialized modules have independent activity time courses when the brain is exposed to natural conditions. By definition, therefore, each functionally specialized module has an activity time course that is unique to it. It is shown that such temporal fingerprints of functionally distinct areas can be used to create a novel, time-based map of the cerebrum, which is referred to as chronoarchitecture. The results show that the chronoarchitectonic map reveals the same subdivisions revealed by traditional functional imaging experiments and by anatomical methods, but that it can also reveal novel cortical subdivisions. In addition, results show that the temporal similarity between chronoarchitectonically defined subdivisions reflect both their functional similarity and the strength of anatomical connections between them, which is a logical consequence of the principle of functional independence. Chronoarchitectonic maps reveal therefore fundamental organizing principles of the human brain, based on inherent brain dynamics and independent of human hypotheses and artificial stimuli.