The Complex Brain

The human brain can be considered as a multi-level dynamical complex system, operating through the interaction among neurons at different spatial and temporal scales. Characterizing how the brain organizes its activity to carry out complex tasks is highly non trivial. Early studies typically aimed at identifying patches of task-specific activation or local time-varying patterns of activity, independently of a matching with the structural architecture sustained by axons. 

More recently consensus grew around the idea that brain activity has temporally and spatially multi-scale features, and that networks of coordinated brain areas continuously interact. Accordingly brain structure and function have started being investigated using new concepts, usually regrouped under a naively defined field of “complexity”, formulated in order to explain a wide range of phenomena that could not be understood by the usual reductionist approaches.

Modelling the brain functional and structural architecture as a network facilitates the study of the role and the meaning of axonal arrangements, as well as the cortical and subcortical functional organization, and how the two are interdependent. Aim of the satellite is to help to grow up a multidisciplinary group of discussion devoted to the investigation of brain functional and structural features at different temporal and spatial scales. Not only neuroscience could benefit from this objective, but also the investigation of other dynamical complex systems could take useful cues from it.