Functional connectivity in the brain--is it an elusive concept?

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2005 Jan;28(8):827-36. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2004.10.009.


Even though functional brain connectivity is an influential concept in modern cognitive neuroscience, it is a very controversial notion. This is why further theoretical and methodological clarification are needed to help define precisely what is meant by functional connectivity and to help frame-associated issues. In this review we present the neurophysiological concept of functional connectivity, which utilizes in a plausible manner the notion of neural assemblies, as well as local and large-scale levels of description. Here functional connectivity is the mechanism for the coordination of activity between different neural assemblies in order to achieve a complex cognitive task or perceptual process. Our theoretical and empirical findings offer new insights into possible implications of the concept of functional connectivity for cognitive neuroscience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Concept Formation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neurosciences