Dynamic network centrality summarizes learning in human brain

Alexander Vassilios Mantzaris, Danielle S. Bassett, Nicholas F. Wymbs, Ernesto Estrada, Mason A. Porter, Peter J. Mucha, Scott T. Grafton, Desmond Higham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study functional activity in the human brain using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and recently developed tools from network science. The data arise from the performance of a simple behavioural motor learning task. Unsupervised clustering of subjects with respect to similarity of network activity measured over three days of practice produces signicant evidence of `learning', in the sense that subjects typically move between clusters (of subjects whose dynamics are similar) as time progresses. However, the high dimensionality and time-dependent nature of the data makes it dicult to explain which brain regions are driving this distinction. Using network centralitymeasures that respect the arrow of time, we express the data in an extremely compact form that characterizes the aggregate activity of each brain region in each experiment using a single coecient, while reproducing information about learning that was discovered using the full data set. This compact summary allows key brain regions con-tributing to centrality to be visualized and interpreted. We thereby provide a proof of principle for the use of recently proposed dynamic centrality measures on temporal network data in neuroscience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Complex Networks
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • dynamic network centrality
  • learning
  • human brain
  • functional activity
  • magnetic resonance imaging


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