Segregating and then integrating

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A note for Lesson no. 1, "You Have One Brain (Not Three)," in Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context from page 19 is:

This arrangement among brain regions—segregating and then integrating—creates a more complex brain that can control a larger and more complex body.

The appendix adds:

...cook each vegetable separately and assemble them in the pot at the end. Now every spoonful is a different complex medley of flavors.

There is a huge neuroscientific literature on how brains segregate and then integrate. Here are a couple of references:

An intuitive example of segregating and integrating comes from renowned chef and restaurateur, Thomas Keller. Keller prepares chicken pot pie by simmering the vegetable ingredients in separate saucepans and then combining them, rather than cooking them together in one pot. The technique is time-consuming but trust me, it makes for a drastically better pie with more distinct flavors. Keller’s recipe is found in his cookbook.[4] I've made the recipe many times, and it is delicious.


  1. Sporns, Olaf. 2011. Networks of the Brain. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  2. Sporns, Olaf. 2013. “Network Attributes for Segregation and Integration in the Human Brain.” Current Opinion in Neurobiology 23: 162–171.
  3. Deco, Gustavo, Giulio Tononi, Melanie Boly, and Morten L. Kringelbach.. 2015. “Rethinking Segregation and Integration: Contributions of Whole-Brain Modeling.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 16: 430–439.
  4. Keller, Thomas. 2009. Ad Hoc at Home, 24–25. New York: Artisan.