A network convergence zone in the hippocampus

PLoS Comput Biol. 2014 Dec 4;10(12):e1003982. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003982. eCollection 2014 Dec.

Abstract

The hippocampal formation is a key structure for memory function in the brain. The functional anatomy of the brain suggests that the hippocampus may be a convergence zone, as it receives polysensory input from distributed association areas throughout the neocortex. However, recent quantitative graph-theoretic analyses of the static large-scale connectome have failed to demonstrate the centrality of the hippocampus; in the context of the whole brain, the hippocampus is not among the most connected or reachable nodes. Here we show that when communication dynamics are taken into account, the hippocampus is a key hub in the connectome. Using a novel computational model, we demonstrate that large-scale brain network topology is organized to funnel and concentrate information flow in the hippocampus, supporting the long-standing hypothesis that this region acts as a critical convergence zone. Our results indicate that the functional capacity of the hippocampus is shaped by its embedding in the large-scale connectome.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computational Biology
  • Connectome*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Macaca
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*

Grant support

This research was funded by a grant from the JS McDonnel Foundation (JSMF22002082) to ARM and OS. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.