Large‐scale neurocognitive networks and distributed processing for attention, language, and memory

M‐Marsel ‐M Mesulam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2031 Scopus citations


Cognition and comportment are subserved by interconnected neural networks that allow high‐level computational architectures including parallel distributed processing. Cognitive problems are not resolved by a sequential and hierarchical progression toward predetermined goals but instead by a simultaneous and interactive consideration of multiple possibilities and constraints until a satisfactory fit is achieved. The resultant texture of mental activity is characterized by almost infinite richness and flexibility. According to this model, complex behavior is mapped at the level of multifocal neural systems rather than specific anatomical sites, giving rise to brain‐behavior relationships that are both localized and distributed. Each network contains anatomically addressed channels for transferring information content and chemically addressed pathways for modulating behavioral tone. This approach provides a blueprint for reexploring the neurological foundations of attention, language, memory, and frontal lobe function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-613
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Large‐scale neurocognitive networks and distributed processing for attention, language, and memory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this