Decoupling of brain function from structure reveals regional behavioral specialization in humans

Maria Giulia Preti & Dimitri Van De Ville

May 21, 2019

Received date 2nd May 19

The brain is an assembly of neuronal populations interconnected by structural pathways. Brain activity is expressed on and constrained by this substrate. Therefore, statistical dependencies between functional signals in directly connected areas can be expected higher. However, the degree to which brain function is bound by the underlying wiring diagram remains a complex question that has been only partially answered. Here, we introduce the structural-decoupling index to quantify the coupling strength between structure and function, and we reveal a macroscale gradient from brain regions more strongly coupled, to regions more strongly decoupled, than expected by realistic surrogate data. This gradient spans behavioral domains from lower-level sensory function to high-level cognitive ones and shows for the first time that the strength of structure-function coupling is spatially varying in line with evidence derived from other modalities, such as functional connectivity, gene expression, microstructural properties and temporal hierarchy.

Read in full at arXiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature