Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

2015 Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Brain-Scale Networks: Overview

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6675-8_772


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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Further Reading

  1. Boccaletti S, Latora V, Moreno Y, Chavez M, Hwang DU (2006) Complex networks: structure and dynamics. Phys Rep Rev Sect Phys Lett 424:175Google Scholar
  2. Mirollo RE, Strogatz SH (1990) Synchronization of pulse-coupled biological oscillators. SIAM J Appl Math 50:1645Google Scholar
  3. Sporns O (2011) Networks of the brain. MIT, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Strogatz SH (2000) From Kuramoto to Crawford: exploring the onset of synchronization in populations of coupled oscillators. Phys D: Nonlinear Phenom 143:1Google Scholar
  5. Strogatz SH (2003) Sync: the emerging science of spontaneous order, 1st edn. Hyperion, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Watts DJ, Strogatz SH (1998) Collective dynamics of ‘small-world’ networks. Nature 393:440PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA