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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mathematisch-Naturwissen­schaft­liche Fakultät - Kardiovaskuläre Physik

G. Zamora-López, C.S. Zhou, and J. Kurths (2011)

Exploring brain function from anatomical connectivity

Frontiers in Neuroscience, 5:83.

The intrinsic relationship between the architecture of the brain and the range of sensory and behavioral phenomena it produces is a relevant question in neuroscience. Here, we review recent knowledge gained on the architecture of the anatomical connectivity by means of complex network analysis. It has been found that cortico-cortical networks display a few prominent characteristics: (i) modular organization, (ii) abundant alternative processing paths, and (iii) the presence of highly connected hubs. Additionally, we present a novel classification of cortical areas of the cat according to the role they play in multisensory connectivity. All these properties represent an ideal anatomical substrate supporting rich dynamical behaviors, facilitating the capacity of the brain to process sensory information of different modalities segregated and to integrate them toward a comprehensive perception of the real world. The results here exposed are mainly based on anatomical data of cats’ brain, but further observations suggest that, from worms to humans, the nervous system of all animals might share these fundamental principles of organization.