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0898-929X
E-ISSN
1530-8898
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4.69

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

December 2016, Vol. 28, No. 12, Pages 2030-2043
(doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_01026)
© 2016 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stability of Network Communities as a Function of Task Complexity
Article PDF (1.23 MB)
Abstract

The analysis of the community architecture in functional brain networks has revealed important relations between specific behavioral patterns and characteristic features of the associated functional organization. Numerous studies have assessed changes in functional communities during different states of awareness, learning, information processing, and various behavioral patterns. The robustness of detected communities within a network has been an often-discussed topic in complex systems research. However, our knowledge regarding the intersubject stability of functional communities in the human brain while performing different tasks is still lacking. In this study, we examined the variability of functional communities in weighted undirected graphs based on fMRI recordings of healthy participants across three conditions: the resting state, syllable production as a simple vocal motor task, and meaningful speech production representing a complex behavioral pattern with cognitive involvement. On the basis of the constructed empirical networks, we simulated a large cohort of artificial graphs and performed a leave-one-out stability analysis to assess the sensitivity of communities in the group-averaged networks with respect to perturbations in the averaging cohort. We found that the stability of partitions derived from group-averaged networks depended on task complexity. The determined community architecture in mean networks reflected within-behavior network stability and between-behavior flexibility of the human functional connectome. The sensitivity of functional communities increased from rest to syllable production to speaking, which suggests that the approximation quality of the community structure in the average network to reflect individual per-participant partitions depends on task complexity.