A homeostatic mechanism that keeps the brain highly susceptible to stimuli and optimizes many of its functions — although this is a compelling theoretical argument in favor of the brain criticality hypothesis, the experimental evidence accumulated during the last two decades is still not entirely convincing, causing the idea to be seemingly unknown in the more clinically-oriented neuroscience community. In this perspective review, we will briefly review the theoretical framework underlying such bold hypothesis, and point to where theory and experiments agree and disagree, highlighting potential ways to try and bridge the gap between them. Finally, we will discuss how the stand point of statistical physics could yield practical applications in neuroscience and help with the interpretation of what is a healthy or unhealthy brain, regardless of being able to validate the critical brain hypothesis.

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