Rich club organization and intermodule communication in the cat connectome

Marcel A. de Reus, Martijn P. van den Heuvel

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115 Citations (Scopus)


Macroscopic brain networks have been shown to display several properties of an efficient communication architecture. In light of global communication, the formation of a densely connected neural "rich club" of hubs is of particular interest, because brain hubs have been suggested to play a key role in enabling short communication pathways within neural networks. Here, analyzing the cat connectome as reconstructed from tract tracing data (Scannell et al., 1995), we provide several lines of evidence of an important role of the structural rich club to interlink functional domains. First, rich club hub nodes were found to be mostly present at the boundaries between functional communities and well represented among intermodule hubs, displaying a diverse connectivity profile. Second, rich club connections, linking nodes of the rich club, and feeder connections, linking non-rich club nodes to rich club nodes, were found to comprise 86% of the intermodule connections, whereas local connections between peripheral nodes mostly spanned between nodes of the same functional community. Third, almost 90% of all intermodule communication paths were found to follow a sequence or "path motif" that involved rich club or feeder edges and thus traversed a rich club node. Together, our findings provide evidence of the structural rich club to form a central infrastructure for intermodule communication in the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12929-12939
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neuroscience
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2013

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