Different computations over the same inputs produce selective behavior in algorithmic brain networks

Katarzyna Jaworska, Yuening Yan, Nicola J. van Rijsbergen, Robin A.A. Ince, Philippe G. Schyns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


A key challenge in neuroimaging remains to understand where, when, and now particularly how human brain networks compute over sensory inputs to achieve behavior. To study such dynamic algorithms from mass neural signals, we recorded the magnetoencephalographic (MEG) activity of participants who resolved the classic XOR, OR, and AND functions as overt behavioral tasks (N = 10 participants/task, N-of-1 replications). Each function requires a different computation over the same inputs to produce the task-specific behavioral outputs. In each task, we found that source-localized MEG activity progresses through four computational stages identified within individual participants: (1) initial contralateral representation of each visual input in occipital cortex, (2) a joint linearly combined representation of both inputs in midline occipital cortex and right fusiform gyrus, followed by (3) nonlinear task-dependent input integration in temporal-parietal cortex, and finally (4) behavioral response representation in postcentral gyrus. We demonstrate the specific dynamics of each computation at the level of individual sources. The spatiotemporal patterns of the first two computations are similar across the three tasks; the last two computations are task specific. Our results therefore reveal where, when, and how dynamic network algorithms perform different computations over the same inputs to produce different behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Early online date17 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2022


  • categorization
  • computation
  • human
  • neuroscience
  • representation
  • task


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