Human Physiology

, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 552–556 | Cite as

Hidden Nodes of the Brain Systems

  • S. V. Medvedev
  • A. D. Korotkov
  • M. V. KireevEmail author


The functional organization of the brain systems underlying higher order human activity is one of the key issues of modern psychophysiology and neurophysiology. Despite the continuous development of new methods, the relationships between the activity of individual cells (and their groups) and the activity of large brain areas observed by means of functional tomography are not yet fully understood. In this paper, we propose a solution for this problem basing on the common patterns of the principles of functional brain activity at the micro- (cells) and macro- (brain areas) levels. We compared the previously identified principles of the dynamic organization of the multicellular neuronal activity of the human brain with the recent fMRI findings basing on the combined analysis of local characteristics of energy consumption by the brain structures and their distant interactions. As a result, we assumed that many brain systems are composed of a large number of hidden nodes. Those nodes are included in the systems in certain periods only. For a wide range of activities, the brain regions are systematically involved in the actively working brain systems as hidden nodes, i.e., without changing their energy consumption, which was observed at both micro- and macro-levels of functional brain activity. These findings reflect the new phenomenon of the “hidden nodes” of the brain systems.


organization of brain systems functional MRI psychophysiological interactions 



The studies of the brain systems that ensure the speech activity (generation and perception of words and perception of grammatical agreement) and conscious false actions were supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project nos. 16-18-00041 and 16-18-00040, respectively). The study of the brain provision of action preparation was performed under the State Assignment of the Bechtereva Institute of the Human Brain, Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg) (theme I.43 “Fundamentals of the Technology of Physiological Adaptations”).


Conflict of interest. The authors declare no explicit and potential conflicts of interest associated with the publication of this article.

Statement of compliance with standards of research involving humans as subjects. All studies were conducted in accordance with the principles of biomedical ethics, which were set out in the Declaration of Helsinki in 1964 and its subsequent updates, and approved by the Ethics Committee of the Bechtereva Institute of the Human Brain, Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg). Each study participant provided a voluntary written informed consent signed after explanation of potential risks and benefits as well as the nature of the forthcoming research.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. V. Medvedev
    • 1
  • A. D. Korotkov
    • 1
  • M. V. Kireev
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Bechtereva Institute of the Human Brain, Russian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.St. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

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