Marcus Raichle (Keynote Speaker)

Departments of Radiology, Neurology, Anatomy & Neurobiology

Washington University School of Medicine

Two Views of Brain Function

Traditionally studies of brain function have focused on task-induced responses. By their very nature such experiments tacitly encourage a reflexive view of brain function. While such an approach has been remarkably productive it ignores the alternative possibility that brain functions are mainly intrinsic involving information processing for interpreting, responding to and predicting environmental demands. Here I argue that the latter view best captures the essence of brain function, a position that accords well with the allocation of the brain’s energy resources. Understanding the brain’s intrinsic activity will require a shift in our focus and the integration of knowledge from cognitive and systems neuroscience to events at the cellular level where ion channel proteins, receptors and components of signal transduction and metabolic pathways are all in a constant state of flux.



Raichle ME (2009) A paradigm shift in functional brain imaging. J Neurosci 29:12729-34

Raichle ME (2003) Functional brain imaging and human brain function. J Neurosci, 23:3959-62