Multi-task connectivity reveals flexible hubs for adaptive task control

Michael W. Cole, Jeremy R. Reynolds, Jonathan D. Power, Grega Repovs, Alan Anticevic, Todd S. Braver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

586 Scopus citations


Extensive evidence suggests that the human ability to adaptively implement a wide variety of tasks is preferentially a result of the operation of a fronto-parietal brain network (FPN). We hypothesized that this network's adaptability is made possible by flexible hubs: brain regions that rapidly update their pattern of global functional connectivity according to task demands. Using recent advances in characterizing brain network organization and dynamics, we identified mechanisms consistent with the flexible hub theory. We found that the FPN's brain-wide functional connectivity pattern shifted more than those of other networks across a variety of task states and that these connectivity patterns could be used to identify the current task. Furthermore, these patterns were consistent across practiced and novel tasks, suggesting that reuse of flexible hub connectivity patterns facilitates adaptive (novel) task performance. Together, these findings support a central role for fronto-parietal flexible hubs in cognitive control and adaptive implementation of task demands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1348-1355
Number of pages8
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Cole, M. W., Reynolds, J. R., Power, J. D., Repovs, G., Anticevic, A., & Braver, T. S. (2013). Multi-task connectivity reveals flexible hubs for adaptive task control. Nature Neuroscience, 16(9), 1348-1355.