Description: Higher brain function relies upon the ability to flexibly integrate information across specialized communities of brain regions, however it is unclear how this mechanism manifests over time. In this study, we use time-resolved network analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data to demonstrate that the human brain traverses between two functional states that maximize either segregation into tight-knit communities or integration across otherwise disparate neural regions. The integrated state enables faster and more accurate performance on a cognitive task, and is associated with dilations in pupil diameter, suggesting that ascending neuromodulatory systems may govern the transition between these alternative modes of brain function. Together, our results confirm a direct link between cognitive performance and the dynamic reorganization of the network structure of the brain.
Related article: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2016.09.018
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