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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2013 Sep;15(3):247-62.

Structure and function of complex brain networks.

Author information

1
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.

Abstract

in English, French, Spanish

An increasing number of theoretical and empirical studies approach the function of the human brain from a network perspective. The analysis of brain networks is made feasible by the development of new imaging acquisition methods as well as new tools from graph theory and dynamical systems. This review surveys some of these methodological advances and summarizes recent findings on the architecture of structural and functional brain networks. Studies of the structural connectome reveal several modules or network communities that are interlinked by hub regions mediating communication processes between modules. Recent network analyses have shown that network hubs form a densely linked collective called a "rich club," centrally positioned for attracting and dispersing signal traffic. In parallel, recordings of resting and task-evoked neural activity have revealed distinct resting-state networks that contribute to functions in distinct cognitive domains. Network methods are increasingly applied in a clinical context, and their promise for elucidating neural substrates of brain and mental disorders is discussed.

KEYWORDS:

connectome; diffusion imaging; functional MRI; graph theory; neuroimaging; resting state; tractography

PMID:
24174898
PMCID:
PMC3811098
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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