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Whole-brain estimates of directed connectivity for human connectomics


Frässle, Stefan; Manjaly, Zina M; Do, Cao T; Kasper, Lars; Pruessmann, Klaas P; Stephan, Klaas E (2021). Whole-brain estimates of directed connectivity for human connectomics. NeuroImage, 225:117491.

Abstract

Connectomics is essential for understanding large-scale brain networks but requires that individual connection estimates are neurobiologically interpretable. In particular, a principle of brain organization is that reciprocal connections between cortical areas are functionally asymmetric. This is a challenge for fMRI-based connectomics in humans where only undirected functional connectivity estimates are routinely available. By contrast, whole-brain estimates of effective (directed) connectivity are computationally challenging, and emerging methods require empirical validation.

Here, using a motor task at 7T, we demonstrate that a novel generative model can infer known connectivity features in a whole-brain network (>200 regions, >40,000 connections) highly efficiently. Furthermore, graph-theoretical analyses of directed connectivity estimates identify functional roles of motor areas more accurately than undirected functional connectivity estimates. These results, which can be achieved in an entirely unsupervised manner, demonstrate the feasibility of inferring directed connections in whole-brain networks and open new avenues for human connectomics.

Abstract

Connectomics is essential for understanding large-scale brain networks but requires that individual connection estimates are neurobiologically interpretable. In particular, a principle of brain organization is that reciprocal connections between cortical areas are functionally asymmetric. This is a challenge for fMRI-based connectomics in humans where only undirected functional connectivity estimates are routinely available. By contrast, whole-brain estimates of effective (directed) connectivity are computationally challenging, and emerging methods require empirical validation.

Here, using a motor task at 7T, we demonstrate that a novel generative model can infer known connectivity features in a whole-brain network (>200 regions, >40,000 connections) highly efficiently. Furthermore, graph-theoretical analyses of directed connectivity estimates identify functional roles of motor areas more accurately than undirected functional connectivity estimates. These results, which can be achieved in an entirely unsupervised manner, demonstrate the feasibility of inferring directed connections in whole-brain networks and open new avenues for human connectomics.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Neurology
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cognitive Neuroscience, Neurology
Language:English
Date:1 January 2021
Deposited On:09 Feb 2021 14:12
Last Modified:24 Apr 2024 01:47
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1053-8119
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117491
PubMed ID:33115664
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID320030_179377
  • : Project TitleComputational neuroimaging of predictive coding in interoception
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)