Neural correlates of establishing, maintaining, and switching brain states

Yi Yuan Tang, Mary K. Rothbart, Michael I. Posner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although the study of brain states is an old one in neuroscience, there has been growing interest in brain state specification owing to MRI studies tracing brain connectivity at rest. In this review, we summarize recent research on three relatively well-described brain states: the resting, alert, and meditation states. We explore the neural correlates of maintaining a state or switching between states, and argue that the anterior cingulate cortex and striatum play a critical role in state maintenance, whereas the insula has a major role in switching between states. Brain state may serve as a predictor of performance in a variety of perceptual, memory, and problem solving tasks. Thus, understanding brain states is critical for understanding human performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-337
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012

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