Over the last decade, the study of complex networks has expanded across diverse scientific fields. Increasingly, science is concerned with the structure, behavior, and evolution of complex systems ranging from cells to ecosystems. Modern network approaches are beginning to reveal fundamental principles of brain architecture and function, and in Networks of the Brain, Olaf Sporns describes how the integrative nature of brain function can be illuminated from a complex network perspective. Highlighting the many emerging points of contact between neuroscience and network science, the book serves to introduce network theory to neuroscientists and neuroscience to those working on theoretical network models.
Brain networks span the microscale of individual cells and synapses and the macroscale of cognitive systems and embodied cognition. Sporns emphasizes how networks connect levels of organization in the brain and how they link structure to function. In order to keep the book accessible and focused on the relevance to neuroscience of network approaches, he offers an informal and nonmathematical treatment of the subject. After describing the basic concepts of network theory and the fundamentals of brain connectivity, Sporns discusses how network approaches can reveal principles of brain architecture. He describes new links between network anatomy and function and investigates how networks shape complex brain dynamics and enable adaptive neural computation. The book documents the rapid pace of discovery and innovation while tracing the historical roots of the field.
The study of brain connectivity has already opened new avenues of study in neuroscience. Networks of the Brain offers a synthesis of the sciences of complex networks and the brain that will be an essential foundation for future research.
About the Author
Olaf Sporns is Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Adjunct Professor in the School of Informatics and Computing, a member of the programs in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, and Head of the Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Indiana University Bloomington.
“If you have not discovered this book yet, take a look. Highly recommended. Fascinating.”
—Stan Wasserman, Complexity and Social Networks Blog
"Written engagingly by a master at the top of his game, Sporns's book unites neural structure, function, connectivity, and dynamics into a single, quantitative, and coherent framework—brain network science that goes a long way toward understanding the dynamic patterns of the brain that underlie behavior and cognition. Essential for the transdisciplinary neuroscientist of the future."
—J.A. Scott Kelso, author of Dynamic Patterns: The Self-Organization of Brain and Behavior and The Complementary Nature
"In Networks of the Brain, Olaf Sporns synthesizes two of the most exciting
topics in science today and links the latest breakthroughs to their deep historical
roots. A graceful, authoritative, and fascinating book."
—Steven Strogatz, Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics, Cornell University, and author of Sync
“Sporns’s book is a very important and scholarly contribution to
our understanding of brain function. It offers a view of neuroscience that is
breathtakingly broad and provides just the sort of perspective needed if we
are to integrate knowledge of form cells, social groups, and everything in between.
It lays out the evidence for a real paradigm shift in how we must pursue our
understanding of the brain’s workings.”
—Marcus Raichle, Professor of Radiology, Neurology, Neurobiology and Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
Honorable Mention, 2010 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) in the Biomedicine and Neuroscience category.