Connectivity Fingerprints: From Areal Descriptions to Abstract Spaces

Trends Cogn Sci. 2018 Nov;22(11):1026-1037. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2018.08.009. Epub 2018 Sep 18.


Fifteen years ago, Passingham and colleagues proposed that brain areas can be described in terms of their unique pattern of input and output connections with the rest of the brain, and that these connections are a crucial determinant of their function. We explore how the advent of neuroimaging of connectivity has allowed us to test and extend this proposal. We show that describing the brain in terms of an abstract connectivity space, as opposed to physical locations of areas, provides a natural and powerful framework for thinking about brain function and its variation across the brains of individuals, populations, and species.

Keywords: brain organization; comparative anatomy; connectivity; gradient; individual differences.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Connectome*
  • Humans