Contextual experience modifies functional connectome indices of topological strength and efficiency

Marjory Pompilus, Luis M. Colon-Perez, Matteo M. Grudny, Marcelo Febo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stimuli presented at short temporal delays before functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can have a robust impact on the organization of synchronous activity in resting state networks. This presents an opportunity to investigate how sensory, affective and cognitive stimuli alter functional connectivity in rodent models. In the present study we assessed the effect on functional connectivity of a familiar contextual stimulus presented 10 min prior to sedation for imaging. A subset of animals were co-presented with an unfamiliar social stimulus in the same environment to further investigate the effect of familiarity on network topology. Rats were imaged at 11.1 T and graph theory analysis was applied to matrices generated from seed-based functional connectivity data sets with 144 brain regions (nodes) and 10,152 pairwise correlations (after excluding 144 diagonal edges). Our results show substantial changes in network topology in response to the familiar (context). Presentation of the familiar context, both in the absence and presence of the social stimulus, strongly reduced network strength, global efficiency, and altered the location of the highest eigenvector centrality nodes from cortex to the hypothalamus. We did not observe changes in modular organization, nodal cartographic assignments, assortative mixing, rich club organization, and network resilience. We propose that experiential factors, perhaps involving associative or episodic memory, can exert a dramatic effect on functional network strength and efficiency when presented at a short temporal delay before imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19843
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

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