PublicationsCortical Rich Club Regions Can Organize State-Dependent Functional Network Formation by Engaging in Oscillatory Behavior
Cognition is hypothesized to require the globally coordinated, functionally relevant integration of otherwise segregated information processing carried out by specialized brain regions. Studies of the macroscopic connectome as well as recent neuroimaging and neuromodeling research have suggested a densely connected collective of cortical hubs, termed the rich club, to provide a central workspace for such integration. In order for rich club regions to fulfill this role they must dispose of a dynamic mechanism by which they can actively shape networks of brain regions whose information processing needs to be integrated. A potential candidate for such a mechanism comes in the form of oscillations which might be employed to establish communication channels among relevant brain regions. We explore this possibility using an integrative approach combining whole-brain computational modeling with neuroimaging, wherein we investigate the local dynamics model brain regions need to exhibit in order to fit (dynamic) network behavior empirically observed for resting as well as a range of task states. We find that rich club regions largely exhibit oscillations during task performance but not during rest. Furthermore, oscillations exhibited by rich club regions can harmonize a set of asynchronous brain regions thus supporting functional coupling among them. These findings are in line with the hypothesis that the rich club can actively shape integration using oscillations.