Novel Cognitive Functions Arise at the Convergence of Macroscale Gradients Journal Article uri icon

Overview

abstract

  • Abstract; Functions in higher-order brain regions are the source of extensive debate. Past trends have been to describe the brain in terms of a set of functional modules, especially posterior cortical areas, but a new emerging paradigm focuses on interactions between neighboring representations. In this review, we synthesize emerging evidence that a variety of novel functions in the higher-order brain regions are due to convergence. Convergence of macroscale gradients brings feature-rich representations into close proximity, presenting an opportunity for novel functions to arise. Using the TPJ as an example, we demonstrate that convergent areas have three properties, they: (1) are at the peak of the processing hierarchy, (2) combine the most abstracted representations, and (3) are equidistant from other convergent areas. As information moves from primary sensory cortices to higher-order brain regions, it becomes abstracted and hierarchical. Eventually, these processing gradients converge at a point equally and maximally distant from their sensory origins. This convergence, which produces multifaceted cognitive functions, such as mentalizing another person's thoughts or projecting into a future space, parallels evolutionary and developmental characteristics of such regions, resulting in new cognitive and affective faculties.

publication date

  • February 1, 2022

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • January 4, 2022 5:47 AM

Full Author List

  • Jung H; Wager TD; Carter RM

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0898-929X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1530-8898

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 381

end page

  • 396

volume

  • 34

issue

  • 3