In this study, we uncover a spatiotemporal complexity architecture of spontaneous brain activity – a human “complexome” that is tightly linked to the brain’s organization as a large-scale network.

The key observation is that the brain operates in distinct states of complexity. Specifically, we found that brain activity is highly irregular most of the time, which is reflected by a higher degree of complexity. However, this “default state” is repeatedly interrupted by spontaneous episodes of low complexity (“complexity drops”), in which brain activity becomes much more regular for a short moment in time.

These dynamics offer an explanation for why brain areas interact in functional networks and how activity patterns spread across the brain over time. Furthermore, the approach explains how brain networks change on the scale of seconds to minutes and creates a link between functional and anatomical properties of brain regions. Moreover, our work also shows that neural complexity is linked to age as well as cognitive and motor performance.

For more, feel free to reach out to Stephan and check out the paper here:


Charité press release:


Twitter thread: