Directed network discovery with dynamic network modelling

TitleDirected network discovery with dynamic network modelling
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsAnzellotti, S., Kliemann D., Jacoby N., & Saxe R.
Pagination1 - 11
Date Published02/2017

Cognitive tasks recruit multiple brain regions. Understanding how these regions influence each other (the network structure) is an important step to characterize the neural basis of cognitive processes. Often, limited evidence is available to restrict the range of hypotheses a priori, and techniques that sift efficiently through a large number of possible network structures are needed (network discovery). This article introduces a novel modelling technique for network discovery (Dynamic Network Modelling or DNM) that builds on ideas from Granger Causality and Dynamic Causal Modelling introducing three key changes: (1) efficient network discovery is implemented with statistical tests on the consistency of model parameters across participants, (2) the tests take into account the magnitude and sign of each influence, and (3) variance explained in independent data is used as an absolute (rather than relative) measure of the quality of the network model. In this article, we outline the functioning of DNM, we validate DNM in simulated data for which the ground truth is known, and we report an example of its application to the investigation of influences between regions during emotion recognition, revealing top-down influences from brain regions encoding abstract representations of emotions (medial prefrontal cortex and superior temporal sulcus) onto regions engaged in the perceptual analysis of facial expressions (occipital face area and fusiform face area) when participants are asked to switch between reporting the emotional valence and the age of a face.

Short TitleNeuropsychologia