Recent findings have demonstrated that a small set of highly connected brain regions may play a central role in enabling efficient communication between cortical regions, together forming a densely interconnected "rich club." However, the density and spatial layout of the rich club also suggest that it constitutes a costly feature of brain architecture. Here, combining anatomical T1, diffusion tensor imaging, magnetic transfer imaging, and functional MRI, several aspects of structural and functional connectivity of the brain's rich club were examined. Our findings suggest that rich club regions and rich club connections exhibit high levels of wiring volume, high levels of white matter organization, high levels of metabolic energy usage, long maturational trajectories, more variable regional time series, and more inter-regional functional couplings. Taken together, these structural and functional measures extend the notion that rich club organization represents a high-cost feature of brain architecture that puts a significant strain on brain resources. The high cost of the rich club may, however, be offset by significant functional benefits that the rich club confers to the brain network as a whole.
- Diffusion tensor imaging
- Rich club