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Interpreting and Utilising Intersubject Variability in Brain Function

Seghier, ML; Price, CJ; (2018) Interpreting and Utilising Intersubject Variability in Brain Function. Trends in Cognitive Sciences , 22 (6) pp. 517-530. 10.1016/j.tics.2018.03.003. Green open access

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We consider between-subject variance in brain function as data rather than noise. We describe variability as a natural output of a noisy plastic system (the brain) where each subject embodies a particular parameterisation of that system. In this context, variability becomes an opportunity to: (i) better characterise typical versus atypical brain functions; (ii) reveal the different cognitive strategies and processing networks that can sustain similar tasks; and (iii) predict recovery capacity after brain damage by taking into account both damaged and spared processing pathways. This has many ramifications for understanding individual learning preferences and explaining the wide differences in human abilities and disabilities. Understanding variability boosts the translational potential of neuroimaging findings, in particular in clinical and educational neuroscience.

Type: Article
Title: Interpreting and Utilising Intersubject Variability in Brain Function
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2018.03.003
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2018.03.003
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: neuroimaging, functional variability, brain structure, cognitive strategies, individualised predictions, covariance
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045160
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