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Monday, July 20 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm
P13: Organization of connectivity between areas in the monkey frontoparietal network

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preprint: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.30.178244v1

Author: Bryan Conklin

Anatomical projections between cortical areas are known to condition the set of observable functional activity in a neural network. The large-scale cortical monkey frontoparietal network (FPN) has been shown to support complex cognitive functions. However, the organization of anatomical connectivity between areas in the FPN supporting such behavior is unknown. To identify the connections in this network, over 40 tract-tracing studies were collated according to the Petrides & Pandya (2007) parcellation scheme, which provides a higher resolution map for the areas making up the FPN than other schemes. To understand how this structural profile can give rise to cognitive functions, a graph theoretic investigation was conducted in which the FPN’s degree distribution, structural motifs and small-worldness were analyzed. We present a new connectivity matrix detailing the anatomical connections between all frontal and parietal areas of the parcellation scheme. First, this matrix was found to have in and out-degree distributions that did not follow a power-law. Instead they were each best approximated by a Gaussian distribution, signifying that the connectivity of each area in the FPN is relatively similar and that it does not rely on hubs. Second, the dynamical relay motif, M9, was found to be overrepresented in the FPN. This 3-node motif is the optimal arrangement for near-zero and non-zero phase synchrony to propagate through the network. Finally, the FPN was found to utilize a small-world architecture. This allows for simultaneous integration and specialization of function. Important aspects of cognition such as attention and working memory have been shown to require both integration and specialization in order to function properly using near-zero and non-zero phase synchrony. Further, they benefit from the reliability afforded by the FPN’s homogenous connectivity profile which acts as a substrate resilient to targeted structural insult but vulnerable to a random attack. This suggests the diseases that impair cognitive function supported by the FPN may owe their effectiveness to a random attack strategy. These findings provide a candidate topological mechanism for the synchrony observed during complex cognitive functions in the M9 dynamical relay motif. The results also serve as a benchmark to be used in the network-level treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease where the types of cognition the FPN supports are impaired. Finally, they can inform future neuromorphic circuit designs which aim to perform certain aspects of cognition.


1. Petrides, M. & Pandya, D. N. Efferent Association Pathways from the Rostral Prefrontal Cortex in the Macaque Monkey. J. Neurosci. 27, 11573–11586 (2007).

avatar for Bryan Conklin

Bryan Conklin

Ph.D. Candidate, Center for Complex Systems & Brain Science, Florida Atlantic University
I am a Ph.D. candidate in Steven L Bressler's Cognitive Neurodynamics Lab. My research focuses on characterizing large scale cognitive brain networks in the monkey using time-frequency and graph theoretic analyses.

Monday July 20, 2020 7:00pm - 8:00pm CEST
Slot 19