Spontaneous activity is correlated across brain regions in large scale networks (RSN) closely resembling those recruited during several behavioral tasks and characterized by functional specialization and dynamic integration. Specifically, MEG studies revealed a set of central regions (dynamic core) possibly facilitating communication among differently specialized brain systems. However, source projected MEG signals, due to the fundamentally ill-posed inverse problem, are affected by spatial leakage, leading to the estimation of spurious, blurred connections that may affect the topological properties of brain networks and their integration. To reduce leakage effects, several correction schemes have been proposed including the Geometric Correction Scheme (GCS) whose theory, simulations and empirical results on topography of a few RSNs were already presented. However, its impact on the estimation of fundamental graph measures used to describe the architecture of interactions among brain regions has not been investigated yet. Here, we estimated dense, MEG band-limited power connectomes in theta, alpha, beta, and gamma bands from 13 healthy subjects (all young adults). We compared the connectivity and topology of MEG uncorrected and GCS-corrected connectomes. The use of GCS considerably reorganized the topology of connectivity, reducing the local, within-hemisphere interactions mainly in the beta and gamma bands and increasing across-hemisphere interactions mainly in the alpha and beta bands. Moreover, the number of hubs decreased in the alpha and beta bands, but the centrality of some fundamental regions such as the Posterior Cingulate Cortex (PCC), Supplementary Motor Area (SMA) and Middle Prefrontal Cortex (MPFC) remained strong in all bands, associated to an increase of the Global Efficiency and a decrease of Modularity. As a comparison, we applied orthogonalization on connectomes and ran the same topological analyses. The correlation values were considerably reduced, and orthogonalization mainly decreased local within-hemisphere interactions in all bands, similarly to GCS. Notably, the centrality of the PCC, SMA and MPFC was preserved in all bands, as for GCS, together with other hubs in the posterior parietal regions. Overall, leakage correction removes spurious local connections, but confirms the role of dynamic hub regions, specifically the anterior and posterior cingulate, in integrating information in the brain at rest.
- MEG connectome
- band-limited power correlation
- functional connectivity
- functional hubs
- leakage correction