Dr. Andrea Greve
Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.
School of Psychology. Cardiff University, UK
Brain Networks: the time and place for network analysis methods in Neuroscience
Fri Apr 29, 2011. 11.00am
The brain is a highly complex system whose individual components (e.g. nerve cells) are linked by a dense web of intricate connectivity which achieve complex pattern of information transfer that guide our behaviour, shape our thoughts and allow us to remember past events. Trying to understand the complex functions of the brain requires us to study brain networks and the highly dynamic patterns they create. In my talk I will outline how network analysis methods, which originate from the field of Maths and Physics, can help us to address key questions in the field of Neuroscience. I will give an overview over the fundamental techniques and approaches used to extract and characterize brain networks from neuroscience data. In particular, I will compare electrophysiological measures, including electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG), with functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. I will discuss the nature of the neural signal recorded by these different techniques and highlight fundamental differences in spatial/temporal resolution and the directness with which neuronal activity can be detected. Overall, this talk will highlight how a network perspective on the relationship between brain anatomy and function can provide fundamental insights into the means by which simple elements organize into dynamic patterns, which is a very promising approach to increase our understanding of how the brain functions.