The organization of thinking: What functional brain imaging reveals about the neuroarchitecture of complex cognition

Marcel Adam Just
S Varma

Abstract or Description

Recent findings in brain imaging, particularly in fMRI, are beginning to reveal some of the fundamental properties of the organization of the cortical systems that underpin complex cognition. We propose an emerging set of operating principles that govern this organization, characterizing the system as a set of collabonating cortical centers that operate as a large-scale cortical network. Two of the network's critical features are that it is resource constrained and dynamically configured, with resource constraints and demands dynamically shaping the network topology. The operating principles are embodied in a cognitive neuroarchitecture, 4CAPS, consisting of a number of interacting computational centers that correspond to activating cortical areas. Each 4CAPS center is a hybrid production system, possessing both symbolic and connectionist attributes. We describe 4CAPS models of sentence comprehension, spatial problem solving, and complex multitasking and compare the accounts of these models with brain activation and behavioral results. Finally, we compare 4CAPS with other proposed neuroarchitectures.