Functional connectivity patterns of human magnetoencephalographic recordings: a 'small-world' network?

Neurosci Lett. 2004 Jan 23;355(1-2):25-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2003.10.063.


EEG and MEG (magnetoencephalography) are widely used to study functional connectivity between different brain regions. We address the question whether such connectivity patterns display an optimal organization for information processing. MEG recordings of five healthy human subjects were converted to sparsely connected graphs (N=126; k=15) by applying a suitable threshold to the N * N matrix of synchronization strengths. For intermediate frequencies (8-30 Hz) the synchronization patterns were similar to those of an ordered graph with a consistent drop of synchronization strength as a function of distance. For low (<8 Hz) and high (>30 Hz) frequency bands the synchronization patterns displayed the features of a so-called 'small-world' network. This might reflect an optimal organization pattern for information processing, connecting any two brain area by only a small number of intermediate steps.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Cortical Synchronization
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Memory / physiology
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Nerve Net / anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*