Incoming PhD student, University of Rochester
Abstract: Recent developments in the quantitative analysis of complex networks, based largely on graph theory, have been rapidly translated to studies of brain network organization. The brain's structural and functional systems have features of complex networks--such as small-world topology, highly connected hubs and modularity--both at the whole-brain scale of human neuroimaging and at a cellular scale in non-human animals. In this article, we review studies investigating complex brain networks in diverse experimental modalities (including structural and functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography in humans) and provide an accessible introduction to the basic principles of graph theory. We also highlight some of the technical challenges and key questions to be addressed by future developments in this rapidly moving field.
Pub.: 05 Feb '09, Pinned: 02 Jul '17
Abstract: The idea that complex systems have a hierarchical modular organization originated in the early 1960s and has recently attracted fresh support from quantitative studies of large scale, real-life networks. Here we investigate the hierarchical modular (or "modules-within-modules") decomposition of human brain functional networks, measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging in 18 healthy volunteers under no-task or resting conditions. We used a customized template to extract networks with more than 1800 regional nodes, and we applied a fast algorithm to identify nested modular structure at several hierarchical levels. We used mutual information, 0 < I < 1, to estimate the similarity of community structure of networks in different subjects, and to identify the individual network that is most representative of the group. Results show that human brain functional networks have a hierarchical modular organization with a fair degree of similarity between subjects, I = 0.63. The largest five modules at the highest level of the hierarchy were medial occipital, lateral occipital, central, parieto-frontal and fronto-temporal systems; occipital modules demonstrated less sub-modular organization than modules comprising regions of multimodal association cortex. Connector nodes and hubs, with a key role in inter-modular connectivity, were also concentrated in association cortical areas. We conclude that methods are available for hierarchical modular decomposition of large numbers of high resolution brain functional networks using computationally expedient algorithms. This could enable future investigations of Simon's original hypothesis that hierarchy or near-decomposability of physical symbol systems is a critical design feature for their fast adaptivity to changing environmental conditions.
Pub.: 02 Dec '09, Pinned: 02 Jul '17
Abstract: Our brain is a network. It consists of spatially distributed, but functionally linked regions that continuously share information with each other. Interestingly, recent advances in the acquisition and analysis of functional neuroimaging data have catalyzed the exploration of functional connectivity in the human brain. Functional connectivity is defined as the temporal dependency of neuronal activation patterns of anatomically separated brain regions and in the past years an increasing body of neuroimaging studies has started to explore functional connectivity by measuring the level of co-activation of resting-state fMRI time-series between brain regions. These studies have revealed interesting new findings about the functional connections of specific brain regions and local networks, as well as important new insights in the overall organization of functional communication in the brain network. Here we present an overview of these new methods and discuss how they have led to new insights in core aspects of the human brain, providing an overview of these novel imaging techniques and their implication to neuroscience. We discuss the use of spontaneous resting-state fMRI in determining functional connectivity, discuss suggested origins of these signals, how functional connections tend to be related to structural connections in the brain network and how functional brain communication may form a key role in cognitive performance. Furthermore, we will discuss the upcoming field of examining functional connectivity patterns using graph theory, focusing on the overall organization of the functional brain network. Specifically, we will discuss the value of these new functional connectivity tools in examining believed connectivity diseases, like Alzheimer's disease, dementia, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.
Pub.: 18 May '10, Pinned: 02 Jul '17
Abstract: Innovations in data visualization punctuate the landmark advances in human connectome research since its beginnings. From tensor glyphs for diffusion-weighted imaging, to advanced rendering of anatomical tracts, to more recent graph-based representations of functional connectivity data, many of the ways we have come to understand the human connectome are through the intuitive insight these visualizations enable. Nonetheless, several unresolved problems persist. For example, probabilistic tractography lacks the visual appeal of its deterministic equivalent, multimodal representations require extreme levels of data reduction, and rendering the full connectome within an anatomical space makes the contents cluttered and unreadable. In part, these challenges require compromises between several tensions that determine connectome visualization practice, such as prioritizing anatomic or connectomic information, aesthetic appeal or information content, and thoroughness or readability. To illustrate the ongoing negotiation between these priorities, we provide an overview of various visualization methods that have evolved for anatomical and functional connectivity data. We then describe interactive visualization tools currently available for use in research, and we conclude with concerns and developments in the presentation of connectivity results.
Pub.: 11 May '13, Pinned: 02 Jul '17
Abstract: In this paper, we present the results of a human-computer interaction experiment that compared the performance of the animation of dynamic graphs to the presentation of small multiples and the effect that mental map preservation had on the two conditions. Questions used in the experiment were selected to test both local and global properties of graph evolution over time. The data sets used in this experiment were derived from standard benchmark data sets of the information visualization community. We found that small multiples gave significantly faster performance than animation overall and for each of our five graph comprehension tasks. In addition, small multiples had significantly more errors than animation for the tasks of determining sets of nodes or edges added to the graph during the same timeslice, although a positive time-error correlation coefficient suggests that, in this case, faster responses did not lead to more errors. This result suggests that, for these two tasks, animation is preferable if accuracy is more important than speed. Preserving the mental map under either the animation or the small multiples condition had little influence in terms of error rate and response time.
Pub.: 26 May '10, Pinned: 02 Jul '17
Abstract: While advances in computing resources have made processing enormous amounts of data possible, human ability to identify patterns in such data has not scaled accordingly. Thus, efficient computational methods for condensing and simplifying data are becoming vital for extracting actionable insights. In particular, while data summarization techniques have been studied extensively, only recently has summarizing interconnected data, or graphs, become popular. This survey is a structured, comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art methods for summarizing graph data. We first broach the motivation behind and the challenges of graph summarization. We then categorize summarization approaches by the type of graphs taken as input and further organize each category by core methodology. Finally, we discuss applications of summarization on real-world graphs and conclude by describing some open problems in the field.
Pub.: 14 Dec '16, Pinned: 02 Jul '17
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