Lookup NU author(s): Professor Marcus Kaiser
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The understanding of neural activity patterns is fundamentally linked to an understanding of how the brain's network architecture shapes dynamical processes. Established approaches rely mostly on deviations of a given network from certain classes of random graphs. Hypotheses about the supposed role of prominent topological features (for instance, the roles of modularity, network motifs or hierarchical network organization) are derived from these deviations. An alternative strategy could be to study deviations of network architectures from regular graphs (rings and lattices) and consider the implications of such deviations for self-organized dynamic patterns on the network. Following this strategy, we draw on the theory of spatio-temporal pattern formation and propose a novel perspective for analysing dynamics on networks, by evaluating how the self-organized dynamics are confined by network architecture to a small set of permissible collective states. In particular, we discuss the role of prominent topological features of brain connectivity, such as hubs, modules and hierarchy, in shaping activity patterns. We illustrate the notion of network-guided pattern formation with numerical simulations and outline how it can facilitate the understanding of neural dynamics.
Author(s): Hutt MT, Kaiser M, Hilgetag CC
Publication type: Review
Publication status: Published
Journal: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences
Print publication date: 01/09/2014
ISSN (print): 0962-8436
ISSN (electronic): 1471-2970
Publisher: ROYAL SOC