Integrated Intelligence from Distributed Brain Activity.


How does organized cognition arise from distributed brain activity? Recent analyses of fluid intelligence suggest a core process of cognitive focus and integration, organizing the components of a cognitive operation into the required computational structure. A cortical 'multiple-demand' (MD) system is closely linked to fluid intelligence, and recent imaging data define nine specific MD patches distributed across frontal, parietal, and occipitotemporal cortex. Wide cortical distribution, relative functional specialization, and strong connectivity suggest a basis for cognitive integration, matching electrophysiological evidence for binding of cognitive operations to their contents. Though still only in broad outline, these data suggest how distributed brain activity can build complex, organized cognition.