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Hierarchical heterogeneity across human cortex shapes large-scale neural dynamics

Demirtas, Murat; Burt, Joshua B.; Helmer, Markus; Ji, Jie Lisa; Adkinson, Brendan D.; Glasser, Matthew F.; Van Essen, David C.; Sotiropoulos, Stamatios N.; Anticevic, Alan; Murray, John D.

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Murat Demirtas

Joshua B. Burt

Markus Helmer

Jie Lisa Ji

Brendan D. Adkinson

Matthew F. Glasser

David C. Van Essen

Alan Anticevic

John D. Murray



The large-scale organization of dynamical neural activity across cortex emerges through long-range interactions among local circuits. We hypothesized that large-scale dynamics are also shaped by heterogeneity of intrinsic local properties across cortical areas. One key axis along which microcircuit properties are specialized relates to hierarchical levels of cortical organization. We developed a large-scale dynamical circuit model of human cortex that incorporates heterogeneity of local synaptic strengths, following a hierarchical axis inferred from MRI-derived T1w/T2w mapping, and fit the model using multimodal neuroimaging data. We found that incorporating hierarchical heterogeneity substantially improves the model fit to fMRI-measured resting-state functional connectivity and captures sensory-association organization of multiple fMRI features. The model predicts hierarchically organized high-frequency spectral power, which we tested with resting-state magnetoencephalography. These findings suggest circuit-level mechanisms linking spatiotemporal levels of analysis and highlight the importance of local properties and their hierarchical specialization on the large-scale organization of human cortical dynamics.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 10, 2019
Online Publication Date Feb 7, 2019
Publication Date Mar 20, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 8, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 8, 2020
Journal Neuron
Print ISSN 0896-6273
Electronic ISSN 1097-4199
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 101
Issue 6
Pages 1181-1194.e13
Keywords General Neuroscience
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Hierarchical Heterogeneity across Human Cortex Shapes Large-Scale Neural Dynamics; Journal Title: Neuron; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier Inc.