Repository logo

Unravelling consciousness and brain function through the lens of time, space, and information.

Accepted version



Change log


Luppi, Andrea I 
Rosas, Fernando E 
Mediano, Pedro AM 
Demertzi, Athena 
Menon, David K 


Disentangling how cognitive functions emerge from the interplay of brain dynamics and network architecture is among the major challenges that neuroscientists face. Pharmacological and pathological perturbations of consciousness provide a lens to investigate these complex challenges. Here, we review how recent advances about consciousness and the brain's functional organisation have been driven by a common denominator: decomposing brain function into fundamental constituents of time, space, and information. Whereas unconsciousness increases structure-function coupling across scales, psychedelics may decouple brain function from structure. Convergent effects also emerge: anaesthetics, psychedelics, and disorders of consciousness can exhibit similar reconfigurations of the brain's unimodal-transmodal functional axis. Decomposition approaches reveal the potential to translate discoveries across species, with computational modelling providing a path towards mechanistic integration.



anaesthesia, brain dynamics, computational modelling, decomposition, psychedelic, structure–function coupling

Journal Title

Trends Neurosci

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Elsevier BV
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship 729 (OPP 1144) [to A.I.L.]; Stephen Erskine Fellowship of Queens’ College, Cambridge [to 730 E.A.S.]; Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR; grant RCZB/072 731 RG93193) [to DKM and EAS]; Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre and NIHR 732 Senior Investigator Awards and the British Oxygen Professorship of the Royal College 733 of Anaesthetists [to DKM]. AD is supported by the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research 734 (FRS-FNRS), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Marie 735 Skłodowska-Curie RISE programme NeuronsXnets (grant agreement 101007926), 736 the European Cooperation in Science and Technology COST Action (CA18106), the 737 Léon Fredericq Foundation, and the University of Liège and University Hospital of 738 Liège.