Role of inter-hemispheric connections in functional brain networks

31 Oct 2017  ·  Martínez J. H., Buldú J. M., Papo D., Fallani F. De Vico, Chavez M. ·

Today the human brain can be modeled as a graph where nodes represent different regions and links stand for statistical interactions between their activities as recorded by different neuroimaging techniques. Empirical studies have lead to the hypothesis that brain functions rely on the coordination of a scattered mosaic of functionally specialized brain regions (modules or sub-networks), forming a web-like structure of coordinated assemblies (a network of networks)... The study of brain dynamics would therefore benefit from an inspection of how functional sub-networks interact between them. In this paper, we model the brain as an interconnected system composed of two specific sub-networks, the left (L) and right (R) hemispheres, which compete with each other for centrality, a topological measure of importance in a networked system. Specifically, we consideredfunctional brain networks derived from high-density electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings and investigated how node centrality is shaped by interhemispheric connections. Our results show that the distribution of centrality strongly depends on the number of functional connections between hemispheres and the way these connections are distributed. Additionally, we investigated the consequences of node failure on hemispherical centrality, and showed how the abundance of inter-hemispheric links favors the functional balance of centrality distribution between the hemispheres. read more

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