Homeostatic plasticity and emergence of functional networks in a whole-brain model at criticality

Rodrigo P. Rocha, Loren Koçillari, Samir Suweis, Maurizio Corbetta, Amos Maritan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Understanding the relationship between large-scale structural and functional brain networks remains a crucial issue in modern neuroscience. Recently, there has been growing interest in investigating the role of homeostatic plasticity mechanisms, across different spatiotemporal scales, in regulating network activity and brain functioning against a wide range of environmental conditions and brain states (e.g., during learning, development, ageing, neurological diseases). In the present study, we investigate how the inclusion of homeostatic plasticity in a stochastic whole-brain model, implemented as a normalization of the incoming node’s excitatory input, affects the macroscopic activity during rest and the formation of functional networks. Importantly, we address the structure-function relationship both at the group and individual-based levels. In this work, we show that normalization of the node’s excitatory input improves the correspondence between simulated neural patterns of the model and various brain functional data. Indeed, we find that the best match is achieved when the model control parameter is in its critical value and that normalization minimizes both the variability of the critical points and neuronal activity patterns among subjects. Therefore, our results suggest that the inclusion of homeostatic principles lead to more realistic brain activity consistent with the hallmarks of criticality. Our theoretical framework open new perspectives in personalized brain modeling with potential applications to investigate the deviation from criticality due to structural lesions (e.g. stroke) or brain disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15682
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


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