Effects of local network topology on the functional reconstruction of spiking neural network models

Appl Netw Sci. 2017;2(1):22. doi: 10.1007/s41109-017-0044-1. Epub 2017 Jul 18.


The representation of information flow through structural networks, as depicted by functional networks, does not coincide exactly with the anatomical configuration of the networks. Model free correlation methods including transfer entropy (TE) and a Gaussian convolution-based correlation method (CC) detect functional networks, i.e. temporal correlations in spiking activity among neurons, and depict information flow as a graph. The influence of synaptic topology on these functional correlations is not well-understood, though nonrandom features of the resulting functional structure (e.g. small-worldedness, motifs) are believed to play a crucial role in information-processing. We apply TE and CC to simulated networks with prescribed small-world and recurrence properties to obtain functional reconstructions which we compare with the underlying synaptic structure using multiplex networks. In particular, we examine the effects of the surrounding local synaptic circuitry on functional correlations by comparing dyadic and triadic subgraphs within the structural and functional graphs in order to explain recurring patterns of information flow on the level of individual neurons. Statistical significance is demonstrated by employing randomized null models and Z-scores, and results are obtained for functional networks reconstructed across a range of correlation-threshold values. From these results, we observe that certain triadic structural subgraphs have strong influence over functional topology.

Keywords: Dyiadic subgraph; Functional neural network; Multiplex; Network information flow; Structural neural network; Triadic subgraph.