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Distinct large-scale cortical networks have been well characterized in recent years, but we are still lacking an integrative understanding of how they spatially related to one another. The hypothesis was recently proposed by Buckner and Krienen (2013) the cortical distance from highly differentiated primary sensory/motor areas may determine gradients of cortical specialization. I will present work extending the tethering hypothesis by investigating how spatial distance along the cortical mantle relates to regional specialization in function, and how it could be considered as a basic organizational principle of brain connectivity. Beginning from the the default-mode network (DMN), a functional continuum exists from the heterogeneous to highly specialized: more distal regions from the DMN are specialized in either primary sensory or motor functions and more proximal regions are associated with abstract cognition. This organization may explain why states such as mind-wandering are often associated with attenuated sensory processing. The implications of these findings for ontogenetic theories of cortical development and connectivity organization will also be discussed.