Sensory information entering the nervous system follows independent paths of processing such that specific features are individually detected. However, sensory perception, awareness, and cognition emerge from the combination of information. Here we have analyzed the corticocortical network of the cat, looking for the anatomical substrate which permits the simultaneous segregation and integration of information in the brain. We find that cortical communications are mainly governed by three topological factors of the underlying network: (i) a large density of connections, (ii) segregation of cortical areas into clusters, and (iii) the presence of highly connected hubs aiding the multisensory processing and integration. Statistical analysis of the shortest paths reveals that, while information is highly accessible to all cortical areas, the complexity of cortical information processing may arise from the rich and intricate alternative paths in which areas can influence each other.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Applied Mathematics