Mammalian brains constitute complex organized networks of neural projections. On top of their binary topological organization, the strength (or weight) of these neural projections can be highly variable across connections and is thus likely of additional importance to the overall topological and functional organization of the network. Here we investigated the specific distribution pattern of connection strength in the macaque connectome. We performed weighted and binary network analysis on the cortico-cortical connectivity of the macaque provided by the unique tract-tracing dataset of Markov and colleagues (2014) and observed in both analyses a small-world, modular and rich club organization. Moreover, connectivity strength showed a distribution augmenting the architecture identified in the binary network version by enhancing both local network clustering and the central infrastructure for global topological communication and integration. Functional consequences of this topological distribution were further examined using the Kuramoto model for simulating interactions between brain regions and showed that the connectivity strength distribution across connections enhances synchronization within modules and between rich club hubs. Together, our results suggest that neural pathway strength promotes topological properties in the macaque connectome for local processing and global network integration.
- Functional synchronization
- Projection strength