Network communication in the brain

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research, Post Doctor Researchers
Department / Centre
Psychiatry
Location
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Associate Professor Andrew Zalesky azalesky@unimelb.edu.au +61390357747 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Caio Seguin caio.seguin@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page

Summary Use network science to understand how information is communicated in nervous systems

Project Details

Healthy brain activity relies on the constant exchange of electrical signals between grey matter regions. The traffic of information across the brain allows distant areas to work together to create the neural dynamics that underpin perception, behaviour, and cognition.

Cutting-edge brain imaging techniques can be used to map the human connectome – the complex network of nerve fibres that interlinks all brain regions and supports their communication. It is easy to see that, for any pair of communicating regions, there exist an astounding number of paths through which signalling can take place. What propagation and routing strategies are used to navigate the brain’s complex wiring and establish communication between regions?

To answer this question, we develop models of network communication that approximate biological neural signalling. To do this, we combine innovative methods from computer science, physics and statistics with multimodal neuroimaging datasets comprising thousands of participants. Our research has revealed new fundamental insight into how the brain’s anatomical wiring shapes functional interactions between regions. Applications of these insights include mapping disrupted neural communication in the aftermath of stroke, machine-learning predictions of human behaviour from imaging data, and the refinement of brain stimulation protocols used for treatment of clinical conditions.

Check out our lab website for further details: www.sysneuro.org

Further research and key questions
  • Develop computational models of network communication that accurately approximate patterns of neural signalling
  • Understanding disrupted neural communication in disease states
  • Investigate how external stimuli are propagated through the brain, with emphasis on clinical brain stimulation
Further reading: General interest pieces
Further reading: Journal articles
  • Seguin, C., Tian, Y., & Zalesky, A. (2020). Network communication models improve the behavioral and functional predictive utility of the human structural connectome. Network Neuroscience, 4:4, 980-1006.
  • Seguin, C., Razi, A., & Zalesky, A. (2019). Inferring neural signalling directionality from undirected structural connectomes. Nature communications, 10(1), 1-13.
  • Wang, X., Seguin, C., Zalesky, A., Wong, W. W., Chu, W. C. W., & Tong, R. K. Y. (2019). Synchronization lag in post stroke: relation to motor function and structural connectivity. Network Neuroscience, 3(4), 1121-1140.
  • Seguin, C., Van Den Heuvel, M. P., & Zalesky, A. (2018). Navigation of brain networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(24), 6297-6302.
  • Avena-Koenigsberger, A., Misic, B., & Sporns, O. (2018). Communication dynamics in complex brain networks. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 19(1), 17.


Faculty Research Themes

School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry



Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research, Post Doctor Researchers
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Psychiatry

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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