FEIT Research Project Database

Structure-function coupling in the connectome

Project Leader: Andrew Zalesky
Staff: Dr Caio Seguin
Collaborators: Professor Olaf Sporns (Indiana University)
Primary Contact: Andrew Zalesky (azalesky@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: complex systems; computational neuroscience; connectome; network science; neuroimaging
Disciplines: Biomedical Engineering,Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Use advanced network communication models to investigate the extent to which brain network structure constrains brain function.

The function of most biological (and engineered) systems is tightly constrained by their structure and anatomy. The brain is no different! Indeed, the structural organisation of brain networks and neural circuits can provide clues about their functional roles. Although early research suggested a modest association between structural and functional brain connectivity, we have recently developed deep learning architectures to accurately predict function from the network structure of the human connectome. Moreover, recent research shows that the extent of coupling between brain structure and function follows cytoarchitectonic hierarchies and is dependent on polysnaptic paths and higher-order interactions. Further research is needed to better understand individual variability in structure-function coupling and to uncover the fundamental principles by which brain network organization links with cognition, behavior and disease states. Check out the review article on structure-function coupling for further details.

Further research and key questions

  • Develop improved network communication and computational models to predict a nervous system's function based on its network structure
  • Investigate structure-function coupling at the neuronal scale
  • Can disease states and treatment response be predicted based on characteristic patterns of divergence in brain structure-function coupling?

Further reading

Further information: Check out our lab website for further details: www.sysneuro.org

Structural & functional connectivity in the human connectome using diffusion and functional MRI. From Suárez, et al 2020