Hierarchy of Information Processing in the Brain: A Novel ‘Intrinsic Ignition’ Framework

Gustavo Deco, Morten L. Kringelbach

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


A general theory of brain function has to be able to explain local and non-local network computations over space and time. We propose a new framework to capture the key principles of how local activity influences global computation, i.e., describing the propagation of information and thus the broadness of communication driven by local activity. More specifically, we consider the diversity in space (nodes or brain regions) over time using the concept of intrinsic ignition, which are naturally occurring intrinsic perturbations reflecting the capability of a given brain area to propagate neuronal activity to other regions in a given brain state. Characterizing the profile of intrinsic ignition for a given brain state provides insight into the precise nature of hierarchical information processing. Combining this data-driven method with a causal whole-brain computational model can provide novel insights into the imbalance of brain states found in neuropsychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-968
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2017


  • binding
  • brain function
  • brain state
  • computational modeling
  • ignition
  • perturbation
  • whole-brain modeling

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