Network Curvature as a Hallmark of Brain Structural Connectivity


Farooq H, Chen Y, Georgiou TT, Tannenbaum A, Lenglet C. Network Curvature as a Hallmark of Brain Structural Connectivity. Nat Commun. 2019;10 (1) :4937.

Date Published:

2019 Oct 30


Although brain functionality is often remarkably robust to lesions and other insults, it may be fragile when these take place in specific locations. Previous attempts to quantify robustness and fragility sought to understand how the functional connectivity of brain networks is affected by structural changes, using either model-based predictions or empirical studies of the effects of lesions. We advance a geometric viewpoint relying on a notion of network curvature, the so-called Ollivier-Ricci curvature. This approach has been proposed to assess financial market robustness and to differentiate biological networks of cancer cells from healthy ones. Here, we apply curvature-based measures to brain structural networks to identify robust and fragile brain regions in healthy subjects. We show that curvature can also be used to track changes in brain connectivity related to age and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and we obtain results that are in agreement with previous MRI studies.

Last updated on 11/05/2019