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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2015 May 19;370(1668). pii: 20140173. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0173.

Cerebral cartography and connectomics.

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Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University Network Science Institute, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA


Cerebral cartography and connectomics pursue similar goals in attempting to create maps that can inform our understanding of the structural and functional organization of the cortex. Connectome maps explicitly aim at representing the brain as a complex network, a collection of nodes and their interconnecting edges. This article reflects on some of the challenges that currently arise in the intersection of cerebral cartography and connectomics. Principal challenges concern the temporal dynamics of functional brain connectivity, the definition of areal parcellations and their hierarchical organization into large-scale networks, the extension of whole-brain connectivity to cellular-scale networks, and the mapping of structure/function relations in empirical recordings and computational models. Successfully addressing these challenges will require extensions of methods and tools from network science to the mapping and analysis of human brain connectivity data. The emerging view that the brain is more than a collection of areas, but is fundamentally operating as a complex networked system, will continue to drive the creation of ever more detailed and multi-modal network maps as tools for on-going exploration and discovery in human connectomics.


brain connectivity; brain mapping; connectome; fMRI

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