Closer to critical resting-state neural dynamics in individuals with higher fluid intelligence

Takahiro Ezaki, Elohim Fonseca dos Reis, Takamitsu Watanabe, Michiko Sakaki, Naoki Masuda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


According to the critical brain hypothesis, the brain is considered to operate near criticality and realize efficient neural computations. Despite the prior theoretical and empirical evidence in favor of the hypothesis, no direct link has been provided between human cognitive performance and the neural criticality. Here we provide such a key link by analyzing resting-state dynamics of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) networks at a whole-brain level. We develop a data-driven analysis method, inspired from statistical physics theory of spin systems, to map out the whole-brain neural dynamics onto a phase diagram. Using this tool, we show evidence that neural dynamics of human participants with higher fluid intelligence quotient scores are closer to a critical state, i.e., the boundary between the paramagnetic phase and the spin-glass (SG) phase. The present results are consistent with the notion of “edge-of-chaos” neural computation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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