A fundamental shift is occurring in neuroscience and related disciplines. In the past, researchers focused on functional specialization of the brain, discovering complex processing strategies based on convergence and divergence in slowly adapting anatomical architectures. Yet for the brain to cope with ever-changing and unpredictable circumstances, it needs strategies with richer interactive short-term dynamics. Recent research has revealed ways in which the brain effectively coordinates widely distributed and specialized activities to meet the needs of the moment. This book explores these findings, examining the functions, mechanisms, and manifestations of distributed dynamical coordination in the brain and mind across different species and levels of organization.
The book identifies three basic functions of dynamic coordination: contextual disambiguation, dynamic grouping, and dynamic routing. It considers the role of dynamic coordination in temporally structured activity and explores these issues at different levels, from synaptic and local circuit mechanisms to macroscopic system dynamics, emphasizing their importance for cognition, behavior, and psychopathology.
About the Editors
Christoph von der Malsburg is Professor and Senior Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS).
William A. Phillips is Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology at the University of Stirling and Adjunct Fellow of the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies.
Wolf Singer is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt and Founding Director of both the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies and the Ernst Strüngmann Institute for Brain Research.
"Nervous systems do not live by the rate code alone. The ceaseless activities of groups of neurons are choreographed into waves, oscillations, synchronized rhythms, and transient coalitions; it is these that underlie behavior, memory, and conscious perception. This exuberant manifesto masterfully summarizes and reflects upon the relevant evidence of these patterns from all manner of brains, small and large."
—Christof Koch, Professor of Computation and Neural Systems, California Institute of Technology