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Individual structural features constrain the mouse functional connectome

By Francesca Melozzi, Eyal Bergmann, Julie A Harris, Itamar Kahn, Viktor Jirsa, Christophe Bernard

Posted 18 Apr 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/613307 (published DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1906694116)

Whole brain dynamics intuitively depends upon the internal wiring of the brain; but to which extent the individual structural connectome constrains the corresponding functional connectome is unknown, even though its importance is uncontested. After acquiring structural data from individual mice, we virtualized their brain networks and simulated in silico functional MRI data. Theoretical results were validated against empirical awake functional MRI data obtained from the same mice. We demonstrate that individual structural connectomes predict the functional organization of individual brains. Using a virtual mouse brain derived from the Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas, we further show that the dominant predictors of individual structure-function relations are the asymmetry and the weights of the structural links. Model predictions were validated experimentally using tracer injections, identifying which missing connections (not measurable with diffusion MRI) are important for whole brain dynamics in the mouse. Individual variations thus define a specific structural fingerprint with direct impact upon the functional organization of individual brains, a key feature for personalized medicine. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The structural connectome is a key determinant of brain function and dysfunction. The connectome-based model approach aims to understand the functional organization of the brain by modeling the brain as a dynamical system and then studying how the functional architecture rises from the underlying structural skeleton. Here, taking advantage of mice studies, we systematically investigated the informative content of different structural features in explaining the emergence of the functional ones. We demonstrate that individual variations define a specific structural fingerprint with a direct impact upon the functional organization of individual brains stressing the importance of using individualized models to understand brain function. We show how limitations of connectome reconstruction with the diffusion-MRI method restrict our comprehension of the structural-functional relation.

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