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May the 4C's be with you: an overview of complexity-inspired frameworks for analysing resting-state neuroimaging data.

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Competing and complementary models of resting-state brain dynamics contribute to our phenomenological and mechanistic understanding of whole-brain coordination and communication, and provide potential evidence for differential brain functioning associated with normal and pathological behaviour. These neuroscientific theories stem from the perspectives of physics, engineering, mathematics and psychology and create a complicated landscape of domain-specific terminology and meaning, which, when used outside of that domain, may lead to incorrect assumptions and conclusions within the neuroscience community. Here, we review and clarify the key concepts of connectivity, computation, criticality and coherence-the 4C's-and outline a potential role for metastability as a common denominator across these propositions. We analyse and synthesize whole-brain neuroimaging research, examined through functional magnetic imaging, to demonstrate that complexity science offers a principled and integrated approach to describe, and potentially understand, macroscale spontaneous brain functioning.


Funder: Ad Astra Chandaria Foundation

Funder: Biomedical Research Centre at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust


Review articles, complexity, connectivity, computation, criticality, metastability, integrated information

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J R Soc Interface

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The Royal Society
Wellcome Trust (210920/Z/18/Z)