Brain Anatomy and Small-World Networks
Pp. 32-50 (19)
Danielle S. Bassett and Edward T. Bullmore
Network analysis of neural and other information-processing systems has recently provided unique
insights into the large-scale cohesive organization of subcomponents at many scales of space and time. In this
chapter, we describe the network analysis of neural systems in general and that of the healthy and diseased human
brain in particular. We present evidence from a variety of species and data modalities that neural systems show
the so-called ”small-world” network phenomenon which also ubiquitously characterizes social groups, scientific
collaborations, the world wide web, transportation networks, power grids, etc. We attempt to provide reasons why
this property might have been selected in brain evolution, and to explain its functional significance, while
delineating the methodological intricacies of network analysis of neuroimaging data.
Network construction, scale-free, exponential, power law, human, monkey, cortical thickness,
degree distribution, small world, modularity, tractography.
Biological and Soft Systems, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge, UK