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Network neuroscience

Nature Neuroscience volume 20, pages 353364 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

Despite substantial recent progress, our understanding of the principles and mechanisms underlying complex brain function and cognition remains incomplete. Network neuroscience proposes to tackle these enduring challenges. Approaching brain structure and function from an explicitly integrative perspective, network neuroscience pursues new ways to map, record, analyze and model the elements and interactions of neurobiological systems. Two parallel trends drive the approach: the availability of new empirical tools to create comprehensive maps and record dynamic patterns among molecules, neurons, brain areas and social systems; and the theoretical framework and computational tools of modern network science. The convergence of empirical and computational advances opens new frontiers of scientific inquiry, including network dynamics, manipulation and control of brain networks, and integration of network processes across spatiotemporal domains. We review emerging trends in network neuroscience and attempt to chart a path toward a better understanding of the brain as a multiscale networked system.

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Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge helpful comments by A. Avena-Koenigsberger, R. Betzel, L. Chai and G. Rosenthal. D.S.B. acknowledges support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Science Foundation (BCS-1430087, NCS BCS-1631550, CAREER PHY-1554488) and the US National Institutes of Health (R01-HD086888, R21-M MH-106799, R01NS099348). O.S. acknowledges support from the Indiana Clinical Translational Sciences Institute (NIH UL1TR0011808), the J.S. McDonnell Foundation (220020387), the National Science Foundation (1636892) and the US National Institutes of Health (R01-AT009036, R01-B022574 and P30-AG010133).

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

    • Danielle S Bassett
  2. Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

    • Danielle S Bassett
  3. Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.

    • Olaf Sporns
  4. Indiana University Network Science Institute, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.

    • Olaf Sporns

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Olaf Sporns.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.4502

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