Rich-club neurocircuitry: Function, evolution, and vulnerability

Alessandra Griffa*, Martijn P. Van Den Heuvel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Over the past decades, network neuroscience has played a fundamental role in the understanding of large-scale brain connectivity architecture. Brains, and more generally nervous systems, can be modeled as sets of elements (neurons, assemblies, or cortical chunks) that dynamically interact through a highly structured and adaptive neurocircuitry. An interesting property of neural networks is that elements rich in connections are central to the network organization and tend to interconnect strongly with each other, forming so-called rich clubs. The ubiquity of rich-club organization across different species and scales of investigation suggests that this topology could be a distinctive feature of biological systems with information processing capabilities. This review surveys recent neuroimaging, computational, and cross-species comparative literature to offer an insight into the function and origin of rich-club architecture in nervous systems, discussing its relevance to human cognition and behavior, and vulnerability to brain disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalDialogues in Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Anatomical connectivity
  • Clinical neuroscience
  • Comparative connectomics
  • Complexity
  • Connectome
  • Evolution
  • Functional dynamics
  • Functional integration
  • Graph analysis
  • Neural network
  • Neuroimaging
  • Rich club


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