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Review

Entropy and the Brain: An Overview

The Thomas N. Sato BioMEC-X Laboratories, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), Kyoto 619-0237, Japan
Entropy 2020, 22(9), 917; https://doi.org/10.3390/e22090917
Received: 3 July 2020 / Revised: 25 July 2020 / Accepted: 19 August 2020 / Published: 21 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Do Entropic Approaches Improve Understanding of Biology?)
Entropy is a powerful tool for quantification of the brain function and its information processing capacity. This is evident in its broad domain of applications that range from functional interactivity between the brain regions to quantification of the state of consciousness. A number of previous reviews summarized the use of entropic measures in neuroscience. However, these studies either focused on the overall use of nonlinear analytical methodologies for quantification of the brain activity or their contents pertained to a particular area of neuroscientific research. The present study aims at complementing these previous reviews in two ways. First, by covering the literature that specifically makes use of entropy for studying the brain function. Second, by highlighting the three fields of research in which the use of entropy has yielded highly promising results: the (altered) state of consciousness, the ageing brain, and the quantification of the brain networks’ information processing. In so doing, the present overview identifies that the use of entropic measures for the study of consciousness and its (altered) states led the field to substantially advance the previous findings. Moreover, it realizes that the use of these measures for the study of the ageing brain resulted in significant insights on various ways that the process of ageing may affect the dynamics and information processing capacity of the brain. It further reveals that their utilization for analysis of the brain regional interactivity formed a bridge between the previous two research areas, thereby providing further evidence in support of their results. It concludes by highlighting some potential considerations that may help future research to refine the use of entropic measures for the study of brain complexity and its function. The present study helps realize that (despite their seemingly differing lines of inquiry) the study of consciousness, the ageing brain, and the brain networks’ information processing are highly interrelated. Specifically, it identifies that the complexity, as quantified by entropy, is a fundamental property of conscious experience, which also plays a vital role in the brain’s capacity for adaptation and therefore whose loss by ageing constitutes a basis for diseases and disorders. Interestingly, these two perspectives neatly come together through the association of entropy and the brain capacity for information processing. View Full-Text
Keywords: entropy; differential entropy; permutation entropy; multiscale entropy; transfer entropy; brain function; brain connectivity; neuroscience; consciousness; ageing; hypnosis; anaesthesia; anaesthetic drug entropy; differential entropy; permutation entropy; multiscale entropy; transfer entropy; brain function; brain connectivity; neuroscience; consciousness; ageing; hypnosis; anaesthesia; anaesthetic drug
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MDPI and ACS Style

Keshmiri, S. Entropy and the Brain: An Overview. Entropy 2020, 22, 917. https://doi.org/10.3390/e22090917

AMA Style

Keshmiri S. Entropy and the Brain: An Overview. Entropy. 2020; 22(9):917. https://doi.org/10.3390/e22090917

Chicago/Turabian Style

Keshmiri, Soheil. 2020. "Entropy and the Brain: An Overview" Entropy 22, no. 9: 917. https://doi.org/10.3390/e22090917

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