Complex Brain Networks in Health, Development and Disease

  • Higham, Desmond (Principal Investigator)

Project: Research

Project Details


"We are all familiar with complex networks: How does a computer virus spread around the internet? How does a contagious disease get passed around a population? How does a rumour spread through a workforce? It has been found that common patterns of connectivity tend to arise in lots of different types of network. Computer scientists, physicists and mathematicians have developed techniques to analyse, categorise and explain these patterns. Very recent brain scanning technology allows us to look at networks within the living human brain: Which parts of the brain are connected to which other parts? This project will apply the tools of network analysis to this new experimental data. It will allow us to address fundamental questions such as: How is the human brain wired up?, and What makes the human brain different from that of other primates? Also, by comparing brain scans from healthy and diseased patients, we can look at issues such as: What goes wrong with the wiring in patients with Alzheimer s disease or Multiple Sclerosis or schizophrenia?, and What type of medical intervention is likely to be useful?

The project team involves neuroscientists, computer scientists and mathematicians and has access to cutting edge brain scan data from the Centre for Functional Magnetic Imaging of the Brain at the University of Oxford and John Radcliffe Hospital."
Effective start/end date1/05/0731/08/10


  • Medical Research Council: £289,273.00