Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol:94 issue:14 pages:7617-7620
Cerebral networks are complex sets of connections that resemble a ladder-like web of multiple parallel feedforward, lateral, and feedback connections. This static anatomical description has been pivotal in guiding our understanding of signal processing within cerebral networks. However, measures on both magnitude and functional significance of connections are extremely limited. Here, we compare the anatomically defined strengths of a set of cerebral pathways emerging from the visual middle suprasylvian (MS) cortex of the cat with measures of the functional impact the same region has over distant sites. These functional measures were obtained by analyzing the local and distant effects of MS cooling deactivation on deoxyglucose uptake. Relative to major efferent projections from MS cortex that have a strong influence, projections to early visual processing stages have weaker functional influences than predicted from the anatomy. For higher processing stages, the converse holds: projections from MS cortex have stronger functional influence than predicted from the anatomy. We conclude that these and future functional measures, obtained using the same combination of techniques, will furnish fundamental, new information that complements and extends current models of static cerebral networks, and lead to more realistic models of cerebral network function and component interactions.