The Brain as a Complex System: Estimating the Brain Connectivity

  • Eduardo Martínez Montes Centro de Neurociencias de Cuba
  • Agustín Lage Castellanos Centro de Neurociencias de Cuba
  • Erick Canales Rodríguez Centro de Neurociencias de Cuba
  • Yasser Iturria Medina Centro de Neurociencias de Cuba
  • Pedro A. Valdés Sosa Centro de Neurociencias de Cuba


In the so-called “Century of the brain”, physics can play an important role in the development of neurosciences. Current research in the field of Complexity could gather a relevant meaning when applied to the study of one of the most attractive natural complex systems: the brain. Realizing that the brain can be understood as a network of many neuronal populations functioning in a critical state, will allow the use of techniques for studying complex systems in the analysis of the brain activity. In this work, we briefly describe novel methods based on the use of physical modeling and modern mathematical algorithms, for the better understanding of cerebral functioning from a “complexity” point of view. These methods apply in three different spatiotemporal scales: anatomical, functional and mental scales. A recent method for characterizing anatomical connections from magnetic resonance imaging of the diffusion of water inside the brain is based in a probabilistic approach on the spatial distribution of the nervous fibers. A fiber-tracking algorithm allows the estimation of trajectories of fiber bunches connecting different anatomical zones. On the other scale, spacetime-frequency methods and multivariate autoregressive models can be used for characterizing the functional networks in the brain. Application to experimental data corresponding to a superior highly organized mental activity can shed light on the understanding of the mechanisms which underlie the integration of information between different cerebral areas.

Dec 1, 2006
How to Cite
MARTÍNEZ MONTES, Eduardo et al. The Brain as a Complex System: Estimating the Brain Connectivity. Revista Cubana de Física, [S.l.], v. 23, n. 2, p. 97-106, dec. 2006. ISSN 2224-7939. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 04 oct. 2023.
Original Articles