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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Oct 9;109(41):16714-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1207523109. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Predicting errors from reconfiguration patterns in human brain networks.

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Radboud University Nijmegen, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, Nijmegen 6500 HE, The Netherlands.


Task preparation is a complex cognitive process that implements anticipatory adjustments to facilitate future task performance. Little is known about quantitative network parameters governing this process in humans. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and functional connectivity measurements, we show that the large-scale topology of the brain network involved in task preparation shows a pattern of dynamic reconfigurations that guides optimal behavior. This network could be decomposed into two distinct topological structures, an error-resilient core acting as a major hub that integrates most of the network's communication and a predominantly sensory periphery showing more flexible network adaptations. During task preparation, core-periphery interactions were dynamically adjusted. Task-relevant visual areas showed a higher topological proximity to the network core and an enhancement in their local centrality and interconnectivity. Failure to reconfigure the network topology was predictive for errors, indicating that anticipatory network reconfigurations are crucial for successful task performance. On the basis of a unique network decoding approach, we also develop a general framework for the identification of characteristic patterns in complex networks, which is applicable to other fields in neuroscience that relate dynamic network properties to behavior.

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