03. April 2020 : New publication on deciphering the communication routing in the human brain:
Finger H, Gast R, Gerloff C, Engel AK and König P (2019). Probing neural networks for dynamic switches of communication pathways. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007551. PLoS Comput Biol 15: e1007551
Dynamic communication and routing play important roles in the human brain in order to facilitate flexibility in task solving and thought processes. Here, we present a network perturbation methodology that allows investigating dynamic switching between different network pathways based on phase offsets between two external oscillatory drivers. Applying this method in a computational model of the human connectome with delay-coupled neural masses, we found a broad spectrum of pathways with distinct dynamic properties and switching behaviors. We show that network pathways can have characteristic timescales and thus specific preferences for the phase lag between the regions they connect. Specifically, we identified pairs of network nodes whose connecting paths show 3 main categories of characteristics or behavior and reveal a potential mechanistic role that phase offsets and coupling delays might play for the dynamic information routing via communication pathways in the brain.