Hierarchy is a central feature in the organisation of complex biological systems and particularly the structure and function of neural networks. While other aspects of brain connectivity such as regionalisation, modularity or motif composition have been discussed elsewhere, no detailed analysis has been presented so far on the role of hierarchy and its connection to brain dynamics. Recent discussions among many of our colleagues have shown an increasing interest in hierarchy (of spatial, temporal and dynamic features), and this is an emerging key question in neuroscience as well as generally in the field of network science, due to its links with concepts of control, efficiency and development across scales (e.g. Hilgetag et al. Science, 1996; Ravasz et al. Science, 2002; Bassett et al. PNAS, 2006; Mueller-Linow et al. PLoS Comp. Biol., in press). The proposed Research Topic will address recent findings from a theoretical as well as experimental perspective including contributions under the following four headings: 1) Topology: Detecting and characterizing network hierarchy; 2) Experiments: Neural dynamics across hierarchical scales; 3) Dynamics: Activity spread, oscillations, and synchronization in hierarchical networks; 4) Dynamics: Stable functioning and information processing in hierarchical networks.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.
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