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For social animals, connecting to others is a basic necessity of life.
In some respects, the network of neurons inside your head parallels a society.
Although all mechanisms reduce to the neuronal level, and ultimately the chemical and physical levels, the answers to questions asked on the phenomenological level might lose their explanatory power when given at the neuronal level, invoking the need for the mesoscopic (i.e. For one, the construction of the comprehen-sive microscopic human connectome is far from within reach of neuroscience’s current technical capabilities.
Pooling neuronal popula-tions into functional units at the meso- or macroscopic scale, however, can make them accessible to whole-brain measurement and analysis methods—as well as to our imagination.
To say that the white matter is but a uniform substance like wax in which there is no hidden contrivance, would be too low an opinion of nature’s finest masterpiece.
Financial support was provided by the Ministerie van Economische Zaken, Provincie Overijssel and provincie Gelderland via the Vi P-Brain Networks project.
Even relatively straightforward questions about such topics cannot be answered without considering the interactions between the units. The network description at the neuronal level—the microscopic connectome—is comprehensive in terms of capturing potential information flow through the network of the brain.
However, the neuronal scale might not be the optimal scale to study the brain for all questions raised. Connecting these concepts of scale to measurement capabilities that have been developed in the past centuries, we can note that this conceptual reason is not the only consideration when opting for a macroscopic description.