Other names for the default mode network

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Appendix D endnote 4, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:

Your brain’s “default mode” by which it interprets and navigates the world, namely, prediction using concepts, makes the name fit this network nicely.

As I've written before, the default mode network goes by many names because it pops up in thousands of brain imaging experiments across a wide variety of psychological events. Essentialism, that ever-present temptress in science, lures us to name the network in line with our own scientific interests.

It is possible that different groups of neurons in the default mode network each perform a different psychological function (conceptualizing, prospection, memory, mentalizing, empathy, morality, etc.). It has been suggested that the default mode network might have a dorsal and a ventral subnetwork that are more specialized for some faculties vs. others,[1] but graph-theoretic analyses of intrinsic connectivity indicates that the nodes cohere together as a single cohesive network (compared to, say, the cognitive control networks which do appear to have some distinct connectivity patterns.[2] Other scientists prefer to think of brain regions as multi-functional so that they are “reused” for different purposes, but this preserves the illusion that there is one process or function for each mental event (a memory process for memory, an empathy process for empathy, etc.). What is more likely, I think, is that the network performs (i.e., remembers) one core function and in the process it's neurons represent a variety of different features that contributes to diverse psychological events. The neurons in the default mode network remember multi-sensory summaries that initiates the construction of conceptual knowledge through simulation and prediction.


Notes on the Notes

  1. Andrews Hanna refs [full reference to be provided]
  2. Powers et al ref - check [full reference to be provided]