Chialvo, D.R.; Balenzuela, P.; Fraiman, D. "The brain: What is critical about it?" (2008) International Conference on Collective Dynamics: Topics on Competition and Cooperation in the Biosciences, BIOCOMP2007. 1028:28-45
El editor permite incluir el artículo en su versión final en nuestro repositorio
Consulte el artículo en la página del editor
Consulte la política de Acceso Abierto del editor


We review the recent proposal that the most fascinating brain properties are related to the fact that it always stays close to a second order phase transition. In such conditions, the collective of neuronal groups can reliably generate robust and flexible behavior, because it is known that at the critical point there is the largest abundance of metastable states to choose from. Here we review the motivation, arguments and recent results, as well as further implications of this view of the functioning brain. © 2008 American Institute of Physics.


Documento: Conferencia
Título:The brain: What is critical about it?
Autor:Chialvo, D.R.; Balenzuela, P.; Fraiman, D.
Ciudad:Vietri sul Mare
Filiación:Department of Physiology, Feinberg Medical School, Northwestern University, 303 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, United States
Departmento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Ciudad Universitaria (1428), Buenos Aires, Argentina
Departamento de Matemática y Ciencias, Universidad de San Andrés, Vito Dumas 284, (1644), Buenos Aires, Argentina
Palabras clave:Brain; Complex networks; Critical phenomena
Página de inicio:28
Página de fin:45
Título revista:International Conference on Collective Dynamics: Topics on Competition and Cooperation in the Biosciences, BIOCOMP2007
Título revista abreviado:AIP Conf. Proc.


  • W. Ross Ashby. (1962). Principles of the self-organizing system. In Principles of Self-Organization Transactions of the University of Illinois Symposium, edited by H. Von Foerster and G. W. Zopf. Jr, Pergamon Press, London, UK , pp. 255-278; Achard, S., Salvador, R., Whitcher, B., Suckling, J., Bullmore, E., Resilient, low-frequency, small-world human brain functional network with highly connected association cortical hubs (2006) J Neurosci, 26, pp. 63-72
  • Bassett, D.S., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Achard, S., Duke, T., Bullmore, E., Adaptive reconfiguration of fractal small-world human brain functional networks (2006) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 103, pp. 19518-19523
  • Bassett, D.S., Bullmore, E., Small-World Brain Networks (2006) The Neuroscientist, 12, pp. 512-523
  • Bak, P., (1997) How Nature works, pp. 1-212. , Oxford University Press, Oxford UK
  • Bak, P., Tang, C., Wiesenfeld, K., Self-organized criticality: An explanation of the 1/f noise (1987) Phys. Rev. Lett, 59, p. 381
  • Bak, P., Chialvo, D.R., Adaptive learning by extremal dynamics and negative feedback (2001) Phys. Rev. E, 63, p. 031912
  • Baliki, M.N., Geha, P.Y., Apkarian, A.V., Chialvo, D.R., Beyond feeling: Chronic pain hurts the brain disrupting the default mode networks (2008) J. Neuroscience, 28, pp. 1398-1403
  • Biswal, B., Yetkin, F., Haughton, V., Hyde, J., Functional connectivity in the motor cortex of resting human brain using echo-planar MRI (1995) Magn. Res. Med, 34, pp. 537-541
  • Buchanan, M., (2000) Ubiquity, , Weidenfeld and Nicolson. London, UK
  • Beggs, J.M., Plenz, D., Neuronal avalanches in neocortical circuits (2003) J. Neuroscience, 23, pp. 11167-11177
  • Beggs, J.M., Plenz, D., Neuronal avalanches are diverse and precise activity patterns that are stable for many hours in cortical slice cultures (2004) J. Neuroscience, 24, pp. 5216-5229
  • D. Boyer, G. Ramos-Fernández, O. Miramontes, J. L. Mateos, G. Cocho, H. Larralde, H. Ramos, F. Rojas. Scale-free foraging by primates emerges from their interaction with a complex environment. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 717 Series B: Biological Sciences 273, 1743-1750 (2006). Also as; Corbetta, M., Shulman, G.L., Control of goal-directed and stimulus driven attention in the brain (2002) Nat Rev Neurosci, 3, pp. 201-215
  • Chialvo, D.R., Bak, P., Learning from mistakes (1999) Neuroscience, 90, pp. 1137-1148
  • Chialvo, D.R., Critical brain networks (2004) Physica A, 340, pp. 756-765
  • Chialvo, D.R., Are our senses critical? (2006) Nature Physics, 1, pp. 301-302
  • D.R. Chialvo. The brain near the edge. In: Cooperative behavior in neural systems: Ninth Granada Lectures. AIP Conference Proceedings, 887, pp. 1-12 (2007); Chialvo, D.R., Emergent complexity: What uphill analysis or downhill invention cannot do (2008) New Ideas in Psychology, , in press
  • Dehaene, S., Nagache, L., Towards a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness: Basic evidence and a workspace framework (2001) Cognition, 79, pp. 1-37
  • Eguiluz, V.M., Chialvo, D.R., Cecchi, G., Baliki, M., Apkarian, A.V., Scale free brain functional networks (2005) Phys Rev Lett, 94, p. 018102
  • Fox, M.D., Snyder, A.Z., Vincent, J.L., Corbetta, M., van Essen, D.C., Raichle, M.E., The human brain is intrinsically organized into dynamic, anticorrelated functional networks (2005) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 102, pp. 9673-9678
  • Fox, M.D., Raichle, M.E., Spontaneous fluctuations in brain activity observed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (2007) Nat. Rev. Neurosci, 8, pp. 700-711
  • Greicius, M.D., Krasnow, B., Reiss, A.L., Menon, V., Functional connectivity in the resting brain: A network analysis of the default mode hypothesis (2003) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 100, pp. 253-258
  • Greicius, M.D., Srivastava, G., Reiss, A.L., Menon, V., Default-mode network activity distinguishes Alzheimer's disease from healthy aging: Evidence from functional MRI (2004) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 101, pp. 4637-4642
  • Honey, C.J., Kotter, R., Breakspear, M., Sporns, O., Network structure of cerebral cortex shapes functional connectivity on multiple time scales (2007) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 104, pp. 10240-10245
  • Kinouchi, O., Copelli, M., Optimal dynamical range of excitable networks at criticality (2006) Nature Physics, 1, pp. 348-352
  • Levina, A., Herrmann, J.M., Geisel, T., Dynamical synapses causing self-organized criticality in neural networks (2007) Nature Physics, 3, pp. 857-860
  • Mason, M.F., Norton, M.I., Van Horn, J.D., Wegner, D.M., Grafton, S.T., Macrae, C.N., Wandering minds: The default network and stimulus-independent thought (2007) Science, 315, pp. 393-395
  • Metropolis, N., Rosenbluth, A.W., Rosenbluth, M.N., Teller, A.H., Teller, E., Equations of State Calculations by Fast Computing Machines (1953) Journal of Chemical Physics, 21, pp. 1087-1092
  • Osorio, I., Frei, M.G., Sornette, D., Milton, J., Lai, Y.-C., (2008) Epileptic Seizures: Quakes of the brain, ,
  • Paczuski, M., Bak, P., Self organization of complex systems (1999) Proceedings of 12th Chris Engelbrecht Summer School, ,, Also as
  • T. Petermann, M.A. Lebedev, M. Nicolelis, D. Plenz. Neuronal avalanches in vivo. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 531.1, (2006); Plenz, D., Thiagarajan, T.C., The organizing principles of neuronal avalanche activity: Cell assemblies in the cortex? (2007) Trends in Neuroscience, 30, pp. 101-110
  • Raichle, M.E., MacLeod, A.M., Snyder, A.Z., Powers, W.J., Gusnard, D.A., Shulman, G.L., A default mode of brain function (2001) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 98, pp. 676-682
  • Raichle, M.E., Neuroscience. The brain's dark energy (2006) Science, 314, pp. 1249-1250
  • Ramos-Fernández, G., Boyer, D., Gómez, V.P., A complex social structure with fission-fusion properties can emerge from a simple foraging model (2006) Behav Ecol Sociobiol, 60, pp. 536-549
  • Reijneveld, J.C., Ponten, S.C., Berendse, H.W., Stam, C.J., The application of graph theoretical analysis to complex networks in the brain (2007) Clinical Neurophysiology, 118, pp. 2317-2331
  • Salvador, R., Suckling, J., Coleman, M.R., Pickard, J.D., Menon, D., Bullmore, E., Neurophysiological architecture of functional magnetic resonance images of human brain (2005) Cerebral Cortex, 15, pp. 1332-1342
  • G.L. Shulman, J. Fiez , M. Corbetta, R. Buckner, F.M. Miezin, M.E., Raichle, S. Petersen. Common blood flow changes across visual task: II decreases in cerebral cortex. J Cognitive Neuroscience 9, 648-663 (1997); Sole, R., Goodwin, B.C., (2000) Signs of Life: How Complexity Pervades Biology, , Basic Books
  • Sporns, O., Chialvo, D.R., Kaiser, M., Hilgetag, C.C., Organization, development and function of complex brain networks (2004) Trends Cog. Sci, 8, pp. 418-425
  • Sporns, O., Zwi, J.D., The small world of the cerebral cortex (2004) Neuroinformatics, 2, pp. 145-162
  • Sporns, O., Tononi, G., Kotter, R., The human connectome: A structural description of the human brain (2006) PLoS Comput Biol, 1, pp. 245-251
  • Stewart, C.V., Plenz, D., Inverted-U profile of dopamine-NMDA-mediated spontaneous avalanche recurrence in superficial layers of rat prefrontal cortex (2006) J Neurosci, 26, pp. 8148-8159
  • Gould, H., Tobochnik, J., (1996) An introduction to computer simulations methods, , Addison Wesley
  • Tononi, G., Edelman, G.M., Sporns, O., Complexity and coherency: Integrating information in the brain (1998) Trends Cog. Sci, 1, pp. 474-484
  • Tononi, G., Edelman, G.M., Consciousness and complexity (1998) Science, 282, pp. 1846-1851
  • Tononi, G., An information integration theory of consciousness (2004) BMC Neurosci, 5, p. 42
  • Turcotte, D.L., Self-Organized Criticality (1999) Reports on Progress in Physics, 62. , 1377-1429
  • A. Turing. Computing machinery and intelligence. Mind, 59, 433-460. (1950/1963). I am quoting from E. A. Feigenbaum and J. Feldman (eds.), Computers and thought. New York: McGraw-Hill; Vincent, J.L., Patel, G.H., Fox, M.D., Snyder, A.Z., Baker, J.T., Van Essen, D.C., Zempel, J.M., Raichle, M.E., Intrinsic functional architecture in the anesthetized monkey brain (2007) Nature, 447, pp. 83-86
  • Werner, G., Perspectives on the neuroscience and consciousness (2006) BioSystems, , doi:10.1016/j.biosystems.2006.03.007
  • Werner, G., Metastability, criticality and phase transitions in brain and its models (2006) BioSystems, , doi:10.1016/j.biosystems.2006.12.001
  • Werner, G., Dynamics across levels of organization (2008) Journal of Physiology - Paris, , in press
  • Werner, G., Mountcastle, V.B., Neural activity in mechanoreceptive cutaneous afferents stimulus response functions, Weber functions and information transfer (1965) J. of Neurophysiology, 28, pp. 359-397
  • Zapped, S., Baekgaard, L.K., Stanley, H.E., Self-organized branching processes: Mean-field theory for avalanches (1995) Phys Rev Lett, 75, pp. 4071-4074A4 - IBM Italy, S.p.A.; Kay Systems Italia, s.r.l.; National Group for Scientific Computation (GNCS), INdAM; Neatec S.p.A.; Sanpaolo Banco di Napoli


---------- APA ----------
Chialvo, D.R., Balenzuela, P. & Fraiman, D. (2008) . The brain: What is critical about it?. International Conference on Collective Dynamics: Topics on Competition and Cooperation in the Biosciences, BIOCOMP2007, 1028, 28-45.
---------- CHICAGO ----------
Chialvo, D.R., Balenzuela, P., Fraiman, D. "The brain: What is critical about it?" . International Conference on Collective Dynamics: Topics on Competition and Cooperation in the Biosciences, BIOCOMP2007 1028 (2008) : 28-45.
---------- MLA ----------
Chialvo, D.R., Balenzuela, P., Fraiman, D. "The brain: What is critical about it?" . International Conference on Collective Dynamics: Topics on Competition and Cooperation in the Biosciences, BIOCOMP2007, vol. 1028, 2008, pp. 28-45.
---------- VANCOUVER ----------
Chialvo, D.R., Balenzuela, P., Fraiman, D. The brain: What is critical about it?. AIP Conf. Proc. 2008;1028:28-45.