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Surprising Findings From Studies Of Spontaneous Brain Activity

May 16, 2011

Revealed in journal Brain Connectivity

Ongoing, intrinsic brain activity that is not task-related accounts for the majority of energy used by the human brain. This surprising finding, along with other recent discoveries about the brain and its function, structure, and organization, are described in “The Restless Brain,” an Instant Online article in the groundbreaking new neuroscience journal Brain Connectivity, a bimonthly peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com). “The Restless Brain,” seven additional articles from the first issue, and a full description of the Journal and its editorial leadership are available online at www.liebertpub.com/brain

Marcus Raichle, Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO), describes the current understanding of the spontaneous, intrinsic activity of the human brain as “still very much a work in progress.” He provides a clear and comprehensive overview of the most recent observations derived from modern brain imaging techniques. These include findings related to spatial and temporal patterns of intrinsic brain activity, the relationship between spontaneous activity and consciousness, the fact that a lack of direct physical connections between brain structures does not preclude functional connectivity, the link between age and changes in brain function and connectivity, and the integration of major brain systems during a task compared to when the brain is at rest.

“Dr. Raichle is one of the pioneers in the field of neuroimaging, not content to rest on his laurels he continues to drive Brain Connectivity research forward with his expert opinion and insightful analysis,” says Christopher Pawela, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief.

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