IBRO is delighted to announce that our 2019 Neuroscience Cover Competition Winner is Dr. Francesca Arese Lucini from the Benjamin Levich Institute for Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics and Physics Department at the City College of New York. Her winning cover was featured in Volume 411 on 15 July 2019 along with the article, How the Brain Transitions from Conscious to Subliminal Perception in our flagship journal Neuroscience.

She explains the research behind her winning cover image:

For our research, we modeled the transition from conscious to unconscious human state for several brain functional networks. The dissolution of the brain portrayed in the image is thought to give the idea of the transition studied; starting with a fully active brain, the conscious state, some areas of the brain are inhibited leaving just a smaller region of the brain active, the subliminal state. This transition has been modeled by using k-core percolation on the conscious network.


We found that the unconscious state is the inner subset of the conscious network. Furthermore, by inhibiting the set of neurons that belong to the external shells of the conscious network, one is left with the most resilient part of the network, called the maximum k-core, which features the set of neurons responsible for unconscious human behavior.


These findings shed light on any future mathematical modeling on human brain, requiring future theory on consciousness to consider the core of the conscious network to be identified with the subliminal state.

For further reading, Dr. Arese Lucini gives additional background information here.

IBRO and Elsevier have been delighted to recognize Dr. Francesca Arese Lucini’s work in this cover competition and look forward to her future research discoveries.