A central challenge in neuroscience is how the brain organizes the information necessary to orchestrate behaviour. Arguably, this whole-brain orchestration is carried out by a core subset of integrative brain regions, a 'global workspace', but its constitutive regions remain unclear. We quantified the global workspace as the common regions across seven tasks as well as rest, in a common 'functional rich club'. To identify this functional rich club, we determined the information flow between brain regions by means of a normalized directed transfer entropy framework applied to multimodal neuroimaging data from 1,003 healthy participants and validated in participants with retest data. This revealed a set of regions orchestrating information from perceptual, long-term memory, evaluative and attentional systems. We confirmed the causal significance and robustness of our results by systematically lesioning a generative whole-brain model. Overall, this framework describes a complex choreography of the functional hierarchical organization of the human brain.
Nat Hum Behav