Brain-Scale Networks: Overview
The brain is composed of many neurons, functional areas, and layers. Together these components work as a network to produce behavior. At minimum, the network behavior is determined by four things: (1) the network inputs, (2) the dynamics of the individual nodes, (3) the coupling functions between the nodes, and (4) the topology. This encyclopedia section will provide a brief overview on characterizing brain-scale networks. Often the coupled system will have emergent behaviors, behaviors that could not be predicted from analysis of the individual components alone. Understanding how the brain functions requires an understanding of how components work together in a network. In many diseases the cause cannot be pinpointed to dysfunction or failure of a single component, such as an ion channel mutation. Instead, subtle changes in cellular behavior may lead homeostatic mechanisms to alter the coupling between the neurons and brain areas, resulting in pathological activity such as...
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