Metastability and Coherence: Extending the Communication through Coherence Hypothesis Using A Whole-Brain Computational Perspective

Trends Neurosci. 2016 Mar;39(3):125-135. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2016.01.001. Epub 2016 Jan 29.


Understanding the mechanisms for communication in the brain remains one of the most challenging scientific questions. The communication through coherence (CTC) hypothesis was originally proposed 10 years ago, stating that two groups of neurons communicate most effectively when their excitability fluctuations are coordinated in time (i.e., coherent), and this control by cortical coherence is a fundamental brain mechanism for large-scale, distant communication. In light of new evidence from whole-brain computational modelling of multimodal neuroimaging data, we link CTC to the concept of metastability, which refers to a rich exploration of the functional repertoire made possible by the underlying structural whole-brain connectivity.

Keywords: communication through coherence; metastability; synchronisation; whole-brain-modelling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Connectome / methods
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology