Neural variability: Friend or foe?

Ilan Dinstein, David J. Heeger, Marlene Behrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although we may not realize it, our brain function varies markedly from moment to moment such that our brain responses exhibit substantial variability across trials even in response to a simple repeating stimulus. Should we care about such within-subject variability? Are there developmental, cognitive, and clinical consequences to having a brain that is more or less variable/noisy? Although neural variability seems to be beneficial for learning, excessive levels of neural variability are apparent in individuals with different clinical disorders. We propose that measuring distinct types of neural variability in autism and other disorders is likely to reveal crucial insights regarding their neuropathology. We further discuss the importance of studying neural variability more generally across development and aging in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

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Brain
Autistic Disorder
Learning
Neuropathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this

Neural variability : Friend or foe? / Dinstein, Ilan; Heeger, David J.; Behrmann, Marlene.

In: Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Vol. 19, No. 6, 01.06.2015, p. 322-328.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dinstein, Ilan ; Heeger, David J. ; Behrmann, Marlene. / Neural variability : Friend or foe?. In: Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 2015 ; Vol. 19, No. 6. pp. 322-328.
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