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Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2011;7:113-40. doi: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-040510-143934.

Brain graphs: graphical models of the human brain connectome.

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1
Behavioural & Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge CB2 0SZ, United Kingdom. etb23@cam.ac.uk

Abstract

Brain graphs provide a relatively simple and increasingly popular way of modeling the human brain connectome, using graph theory to abstractly define a nervous system as a set of nodes (denoting anatomical regions or recording electrodes) and interconnecting edges (denoting structural or functional connections). Topological and geometrical properties of these graphs can be measured and compared to random graphs and to graphs derived from other neuroscience data or other (nonneural) complex systems. Both structural and functional human brain graphs have consistently demonstrated key topological properties such as small-worldness, modularity, and heterogeneous degree distributions. Brain graphs are also physically embedded so as to nearly minimize wiring cost, a key geometric property. Here we offer a conceptual review and methodological guide to graphical analysis of human neuroimaging data, with an emphasis on some of the key assumptions, issues, and trade-offs facing the investigator.

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