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This article is part of the Research Topic Hierarchy and dynamics in neural networks

Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Neuroinform., 19 March 2010 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/neuro.11.001.2010

Cortical hubs form a module for multisensory integration on top of the hierarchy of cortical networks

1
Interdisciplinary Center for Dynamics of Complex Systems, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
2
Department of Physics, Centre for Nonlinear Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China
3
The Beijing-Hong Kong-Singapore Joint Centre for Nonlinear and Complex Systems, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China
4
Transdisciplinary concepts and methods, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany
5
Institute of Physics, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
Sensory stimuli entering the nervous system follow particular paths of processing, typically separated (segregated) from the paths of other modal information. However, sensory perception, awareness and cognition emerge from the combination of information (integration). The corticocortical networks of cats and macaque monkeys display three prominent characteristics: (i) modular organisation (facilitating the segregation), (ii) abundant alternative processing paths and (iii) the presence of highly connected hubs. Here, we study in detail the organisation and potential function of the cortical hubs by graph analysis and information theoretical methods. We find that the cortical hubs form a spatially delocalised, but topologically central module with the capacity to integrate multisensory information in a collaborative manner. With this, we resolve the underlying anatomical substrate that supports the simultaneous capacity of the cortex to segregate and to integrate multisensory information.
Keywords:
corticocortical networks, cortical hubs, multisensory integration, segregation, integration
Citation:
Zamora-López G, Zhou C and Kurths J (2010). Cortical hubs form a module for multisensory integration on top of the hierarchy of cortical networks. Front. Neuroinform. 4:1. doi: 10.3389/neuro.11.001.2010
Received:
06 April 2009;
 Paper pending published:
10 June 2009;
Accepted:
02 February 2010;
 Published online:
19 March 2010.

Edited by:

Claus C. Hilgetag, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany

Reviewed by:

Steven Bressler, Florida Atlantic University, USA
David Meunier, University of Cambridge, UK
Copyright:
© 2010 Zamora-López, Zhou and Kurths. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and the Frontiers Research Foundation, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.
*Correspondence:
Gorka Zamora-López, Interdisciplinary Center for Dynamics of Complex Systems, University of Potsdam, Komplex II – Golm (Haus 28) , Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24, D-14476 Potsdam, Germany. e-mail: gorka@agnld.uni-potsdam.de