A critical step in finding out how the human brain supports cognition is to identify the operations that are performed by the individual parts. In the case of the cortex the parts are the different cytoarchitectonic areas. Just as connectional fingerprints can be established for each area, so their functions can be discerned by functional fingerprints. These show the degree to which an area is engaged across a wide range of cognitive tasks. The aim of comparing these plots for different areas is to work out the transformation that the different areas perform, from input to output. Given the complexity of the brain it can help to produce computational models of how it works and to relate the operations that are carried out by different areas to different components or parameters of the model.
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