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Markov blankets in the brain

Hipólito, I; Ramstead, MJD; Convertino, L; Bhat, A; Friston, K; Parr, T; (2021) Markov blankets in the brain. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews , 125 pp. 88-97. 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.02.003. Green open access

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Abstract

Recent characterisations of self-organising systems depend upon the presence of a ‘Markov blanket’: a statistical boundary that mediates the interactions between the inside and outside of a system. We leverage this idea to provide an analysis of partitions in neuronal systems. This is applicable to brain architectures at multiple scales, enabling partitions into single neurons, brain regions, and brain-wide networks. This treatment is based upon the canonical micro-circuitry used in empirical studies of effective connectivity, so as to speak directly to practical applications. The notion of effective connectivity depends upon the dynamic coupling between functional units, whose form recapitulates that of a Markov blanket at each level of analysis. The nuance afforded by partitioning neural systems in this way highlights certain limitations of ‘modular’ perspectives of brain function that only consider a single level of description.

Type: Article
Title: Markov blankets in the brain
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.02.003
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.02.003
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Keywords: Boundaries, Canonical microcircuit, Dynamic causal modelling, Markov blankets
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123346
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