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The brain is hierarchically organised across many levels, from the underlying anatomical connectivity to the resulting functional dynamics, which supports the necessary orchestration to ensure sufficient cognitive and behavioural flexibility. Here, we show how two emerging frameworks have been used to determine the brain's functional hierarchy and its reconfiguration in different cognitive tasks. One study used direct estimation of the information flow across a whole experiment to reveal the common top hierarchical regions orchestrating brain dynamics across rest and seven cognitive tasks. Another study used complementary, indirect spatiotemporal measures defining hierarchy as the asymmetry in the directionality of information flow to identify a set of regions within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that serve as the common, unifying drivers of brain dynamics during tasks. Overall, these studies are beginning to reveal the orchestration of whole-brain dynamics and how specific PFC regions are key to driving our cognitive and behavioural flexibility.

Original publication




Journal article


Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences

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