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Reentry: a key mechanism for integration of brain function

DOI: 10.3389/fnint.2013.00063

Keywords: reentry, white matter, corticocortical networks, fiber tracts, consciousness, brain function

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Reentry in nervous systems is the ongoing bidirectional exchange of signals along reciprocal axonal fibers linking two or more brain areas. The hypothesis that reentrant signaling serves as a general mechanism to couple the functioning of multiple areas of the cerebral cortex and thalamus was first proposed in 1977 and 1978 (Edelman, 1978). A review of the amount and diversity of supporting experimental evidence accumulated since then suggests that reentry is among the most important integrative mechanisms in vertebrate brains (Edelman, 1993). Moreover, these data prompt testable hypotheses regarding mechanisms that favor the development and evolution of reentrant neural architectures.


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