The Modular Brain
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What type of system is the brain? The brain is widely assumed to be one of many modular systems in nature, which are thought to be computational tractable and favored by evolution. While focal brain lesions lead to very specific cognitive deficits, suggesting a modular structure, other focal lesions can have a widespread impact on cognition, suggesting that some cognitive processes emerge from interactions between many brain regions that are not functionally organized as modules. Thus, how information is functionally segregated yet integrated across modules remains an open question. In this talk, I will discuss a series of empirical findings that begin to elucidate the neural architecture of modular processing by showing that modules execute discrete processes and connector hubs are likely integrating and sending information across modules in support of goal-directed cognition.