Santa Fe Institute Collaboration Platform

COMPLEX TIME: Adaptation, Aging, & Arrow of Time

Get Involved!
Contact: Caitlin Lorraine McShea, Program Manager,

Cognitive Regime Shift I - When the Brain Breaks/States and Stability in Human Functional Brain Networks

From Complex Time

July 24, 2018
1:20 pm - 2:10 pm


Caterina Gratton (Northwestern Univ.)


In my talk, I went over two main empirical studies. In the first, we used a dataset that highly-sampled 10 individual subjects, across different days and tasks. We asked how functional brain networks vary over different timescales, and found that these network measurements are primarily stable, with only moderate/minor state-based effects. In the second experiment, we looked at how Parkinson’s disease affect functional brain networks. We found that PD selectively impacts blocks of network-to-network connections, remote from primary pathophysiology. I also described initial findings from a recent initiative into how we might characterize individual variation in brain networks, showing that individual network “variants” are stable and systematic. From these findings, I concluded:

  1. Functional network measures are well-suited to tracking slow, stable brain processes
  2. These measures can provide detailed images of individual differences
  3. Functional network effects can be complex, occurring at locations remote from primary pathology
Presentation file(s)
Download Presentation (Delete)
Related files

Post-meeting Reflection

Caterina Gratton (Northwestern Univ.) Link to the source page

One discussion that emerged after the talk was the question of what the right level of analysis was for understanding brain dysfunction in aging and PD, and what form of causal argument or mechanism can be derived from these network descriptions of brain organization and dysfunction. A very interesting direction to go would be to create more theoretically driven models of brain dysfunction in PD, that might explain the disconnect between the functional network effects and known pathology in the disease. These models could then be tested in future experiments.

Reference Material

Here are some references to our work that I discussed which could be relevant:

Title Author name Source name Year Citation count From Scopus. Refreshed every 5 days. Page views Related file
Precision Functional Mapping of Individual Human Brains Evan M. Gordon, Timothy O. Laumann, Adrian W. Gilmore, Dillan J. Newbold, Deanna J. Greene, Jeffrey J. Berg, Mario Ortega, Catherine Hoyt-Drazen, Caterina Gratton, Haoxin Sun, Jacqueline M. Hampton, Rebecca S. Coalson, Annie L. Nguyen, Kathleen B. McDermott, Joshua S. Shimony, Abraham Z. Snyder, Bradley L. Schlaggar, Steven E. Petersen, Steven M. Nelson, Nico U.F. Dosenbach Neuron 2017 320 8