Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Network-Level Synchrony Events That Could Support Cognitive Binding


A benefit of a large brain is it can contain many functional subunits with narrow computational specialties, so each can be deployed in real time to tackle a specific aspect of a larger task.

This is particularly useful for complex cognitive feats like language, which requires coordinating an enormous collection of mental talents at the rapid pace of natural conversation.

Classically, human cognitive neuroscience has focused on identifying and characterizing each computational subunit, often in isolation, and often in terms of anatomical structures. Even models that include top-down feedback and parallel streams generally rest on an implied notion that each computational unit ‘hands off’ when it completes its part of a complex, multi-sensory task, usually according to a posterior-to-anterior and low-to-high-level hierarchy.

This ignores several physiologically, computationally, and philosophically deep challenges, which must be met to unlock the power of having a diverse repertoire of specialist neural processors.

The present project (details TBA) aims to address some of these challenges and find evidence in neural synchrony for ways the human brain might in fact meet them. The first manuscript related to this stream of data and analysis is just coming together, so I will post more information here when I have a break from that!

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