Dependency Network Analysis (D EP NA) Reveals Context Related Influence of Brain Network Nodes

Yael Jacob, Yonatan Winetraub, Gal Raz, Eti Ben-Simon, Hadas Okon-Singer, Keren Rosenberg-Katz, Talma Hendler, Eshel Ben-Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Communication between and within brain regions is essential for information processing within functional networks. The current methods to determine the influence of one region on another are either based on temporal resolution, or require a predefined model for the connectivity direction. However these requirements are not always achieved, especially in fMRI studies, which have poor temporal resolution. We thus propose a new graph theory approach that focuses on the correlation influence between selected brain regions, entitled Dependency Network Analysis (D EP NA). Partial correlations are used to quantify the level of influence of each node during task performance. As a proof of concept, we conducted the D EP NA on simulated datasets and on two empirical motor and working memory fMRI tasks. The simulations revealed that the D EP NA correctly captures the network's hierarchy of influence. Applying D EP NA to the functional tasks reveals the dynamics between specific nodes as would be expected from prior knowledge. To conclude, we demonstrate that D EP NA can capture the most influencing nodes in the network, as they emerge during specific cognitive processes. This ability opens a new horizon for example in delineating critical nodes for specific clinical interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27444
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 7 Jun 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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