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Markers of criticality in phase synchronisation

The concept of the brain as a critical system is very attractive because systems close to criticality are thought to maximise their dynamic range of information processing and communication. To date, there have been two key experimental observations supporting this hypothesis: i) neuronal avalanches with power law distribution of size and ii) long-range temporal correlations (LRTCs) in the amplitude of neural oscillations. The case for how these maximise dynamic range of information processing and communication is still being made and because a significant substrate for information coding and transmission is neural synchrony it is of interest to link synchronisation measures with those of criticality. We propose a framework for characterising criticality in synchronisation based on a new metric of phase synchronisation (rate of change of phase difference) and a set of methods we have developed for detecting LRTCs. We test this framework against two classical models of criticality (Ising and Kuramoto) and recently described variants of these models aimed to more closely represent human brain dynamics. From these simulations we determine the parameters at which these systems show evidence of LRTCs in phase synchronisation. We demonstrate proof of principle by analysing pairs of human simultaneous EEG and EMG time series, suggesting that LRTCs of corticomuscular phase synchronisation can be detected in the resting state. The existence of LRTCs in fluctuations of phase synchronisation suggests that these fluctuations are governed by non-local behaviour. This has important implications regarding the conditions under which one should expect to see LRTCs in phase synchronisation. Specifically, brain resting states may exhibit LRTCs reflecting a state of readiness facilitating rapid task-dependent shifts towards and away from synchronous states that abolish LRTCs.

 

Markers of criticality in phase synchronisation
Maria Botcharova, Simon F. Farmer, Luc Berthouze

http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.5774


Via Complexity Digest
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The Network City

The Network City | Everything is Connected | Scoop.it

“Only connect,” the writer E. M. Forster said famously — and modern scientists working with network structures are learning how right he was. Forster was talking about how to tell a good story, but it turns out that the same principles for creating richly interconnected structures do apply to making good cities, or other good designs. And what’s all the more interesting (and important) is how bad we’ve gotten at this in recent years — and why that came to pass. Jane Jacobs, the great urbanist and economist, put these ideas to intelligent use in her observation of what made cities such evident crucibles of economic productivity. It was proximities, she said, and networks of proximity, that allowed people to exchange knowledge and creative activities.

 

The Network City
Michael Mehaffy, Nikos Salingaros

http://www.biourbanism.org/network-city/


Via Complexity Digest, Ashish Umre
SoulFireMage's insight:

It's spooky how what happens in the brain, in small groups and in other systems appears so self similar. Makes me wonder if, in amongst the deep similarities and simple rules, there isn't some way to predict and even shape more.

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Learning to Learn: fighting cognitive biases

Learning to Learn: fighting cognitive biases | Everything is Connected | Scoop.it
Critical thinking is an increasingly important skill that has been overlooked by many as information becomes more accessible and superfluous.
SoulFireMage's insight:

One of the top ten things I'd wish to pass on if I'd had kids. Hard to see them from inside, yet easy to spot in others.

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