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Generative models of the human connectome

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2016
Author Betzel Richard F., Avena-Koenigsberger Andrea, Goñi Joaquín, He Ye, de Reus Marcel A., Griffa Alessandra, Vértes Petra E., Mišic Bratislav, Thiran Jean-Philippe, Hagmann Patric, van den Heuvel Martijn, Zuo Xi-Nian, Bullmore Edward T., Sporns Olaf,
Project Imaging the connectome in the early phase of psychosis
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal NeuroImage
Volume (Issue) 124
Page(s) 1054 - 1064
Title of proceedings NeuroImage
DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.09.041

Open Access


The human connectome represents a network map of the brain's wiring diagram and the pattern into which its connections are organized is thought to play an important role in cognitive function. The generative rules that shape the topology of the human connectome remain incompletely understood. Earlier work in model organisms has suggested that wiring rules based on geometric relationships (distance) can account for many but likely not all topological features. Here we systematically explore a family of generative models of the human connectome that yield synthetic networks designed according to different wiring rules combining geometric and a broad range of topological factors. We find that a combination of geometric constraints with a homophilic attachment mechanism can create synthetic networks that closely match many topological characteristics of individual human connectomes, including features that were not included in the optimization of the generative model itself. We use these models to investigate a lifespan dataset and show that, with age, the model parameters undergo progressive changes, suggesting a rebalancing of the generative factors underlying the connectome across the lifespan.