How Network Neuroscience Is Creating a New Era of Mind Control

Complex networks form the backbone of modern society: the Internet, the aviation network, the pattern of connections between individuals. And more complex examples are constantly emerging—the way genes interact in cells, how information flows through the banking system and the ecosystem.

The more complex the system, the harder it is to control. Nevertheless, computer scientists, doctors, economists and the like exercise a modicum of control over many of these networks.

And that raises an interesting question: is it possible to exercise the same kind of control over the most complex network we know of: the human brain?

Today we get an answer of sorts, thanks to the work of John Medaglia at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a few pals who assess the discipline that is emerging at the intersection between network neuroscience and network control theory. “A critical question … is how to modulate a human brain network to treat cognitive deficits or enhance mental abilities,” they say. “We posit that network control fundamentally relates to mind control.”...


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