Vinod Menon

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science

Stanford University School of Medicine

From Intrinsic Brain Activity to Neurocognitive Networks

Research on intrinsic brain activity using fMRI offers a novel approach for understanding brain organization at the systems level. Since the discovery of coherent spontaneous fluctuations within the somatomotor system, a growing number of studies have shown that many of the brain areas engaged during various cognitive tasks also form coherent large-scale brain networks that can be readily identified using resting state fMRI. I will describe how these studies are beginning to provide new insights into the functional architecture of the human brain. I will synthesize some of these discoveries to present a network model of anterior insula function that highlights its role in detecting salient events, switching attentional processes and initiating cognitive control. I will discuss how such network models help us better understand key aspects of brain function and dysfunction.



Eckert MA, Menon V, Walczak A, Ahlstrom J, Denslow S, Horwitz A, Dubno JR (2009) At the heart of the ventral attention system: the right anterior insula. Hum Brain Mapp 30:2530-41


Supekar K, Musen M, Menon V (2009) Development of large-scale functional brain networks in children. PLoS Biol 7:e1000157