INS Epinext Seminar – Randy McIntosh (Toronto)
“Why Dynamics are Vital for Brain Health”
Brain networks have a rich functional repertoire. The architecture of the brain is such that communication between regions shows differing time delays dependent partly on distance. These time delays, considered in the context of the spatial distribution of regions, establish a space-time structure that characterizes the potential network dynamics that can be supported by a given brain. We have shown that the this space-time structure sculpts the dynamics in a principled manner during maturation and senescence. In childhood, the dynamics change most at slower timescales favouring distributed networks. In healthy ageing there appears to be a shift in dominant timescales so as to bias the dynamics to local networks. Clinical studies suggest that if such a shift in preferred timescales does not happen cognitive dysfunction ensues. These studies reinforce the need to carefully consider brain dynamics as a more sophisticated index of brain health and dysfunction.
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