Information integration for a thalamocortical-like architecture. a. Optimization of information integration for a system that is both functionally specialized and functionally integrated. Shown is the causal interaction diagram for a network whose connection matrix was obtained by optimization for Φ (Φ = 74 bits). Note the heterogeneous arrangement of the incoming and outgoing connections: each element is connected to a different subset of elements, with different weights. Further analysis indicates that this network jointly maximizes functional specialization and functional integration among its 8 elements, thereby resembling the anatomical organization of the thalamocortical system . b. Reduction of information integration through loss of specialization. The same amount of connectivity, distributed homogeneously to eliminate functional specialization, yields a complex with much lower values of Φ (Φ = 20 bits). c. Reduction of information integration through loss of integration. The same amount of connectivity, distributed in such a way as to form four independent modules to eliminate functional integration, yields four separate complexes with much lower values of Φ (Φ = 20 bits).
Tononi BMC Neuroscience 2004 5:42 doi:10.1186/1471-2202-5-42