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Hierarchical dynamics of informational patterns and decision-making

, : Hierarchical dynamics of informational patterns and decision-making. Proceedings. Biological Sciences 283(1832): -

Traditional studies on the interaction of cognitive functions in healthy and disordered brains have used the analyses of the connectivity of several specialized brain networks-the functional connectome. However, emerging evidence suggests that both brain networks and functional spontaneous brain-wide network communication are intrinsically dynamic. In the light of studies investigating the cooperation between different cognitive functions, we consider here the dynamics of hierarchical networks in cognitive space. We show, using an example of behavioural decision-making based on sequential episodic memory, how the description of metastable pattern dynamics underlying basic cognitive processes helps to understand and predict complex processes like sequential episodic memory recall and competition among decision strategies. The mathematical images of the discussed phenomena in the phase space of the corresponding cognitive model are hierarchical heteroclinic networks. One of the most important features of such networks is the robustness of their dynamics. Different kinds of instabilities of these dynamics can be related to 'dynamical signatures' of creativity and different psychiatric disorders. The suggested approach can also be useful for the understanding of the dynamical processes that are the basis of consciousness.


PMID: 27252020

DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.0475

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