Large Scale Brain Networks in Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders

Accelerator Fund

This project has been developed from the Initiator funded Large Scale Brain Networks in Health and Disease community.

Project period: May to November 2015

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Roland Jones
University of Bristol: Richard Apps, Nina Kazanina
Cardiff University: Vincenzo Crunelli
University of Exeter: Marc Goodfellow, Jon Brown

Project overview

Most disorders of the brain are difficult to diagnose and treat accurately. A contributing factor to many brain disorders is a breakdown in the links between different regions of the brain. It is still poorly understood how activity across large parts of the brain can break down in disease. This lack of understanding stems from difficulties in comprehending how brain activity arises in and travels through networks.

Recently there has been huge growth in theoretical, experimental and clinical studies of large-scale brain networks, but these endeavours often evolve distinctly. Advancing the study of brain networks and how activity emerges from links between different regions of the brain would benefit from greater collaboration between traditional academic disciplines such as neuroscience and mathematics.

This project will be cross-disciplinary, combining theory, clinical data and experiments. A broad aim of our network is to stimulate research collaborations that integrate experimental and clinical approaches with mathematical and computational modelling of brain networks.

We will conduct a six month proof of concept investigation into two complementary aspects of our community’s on-going research:

  • The application of theoretical tools previously developed in the context of epilepsy research to a range of neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • The investigation of signatures of large-scale network disruptions in experimental models of these disorders.

A predominant aim of our community is the extension of the research we undertake to other disorders, such as myoclonus and schizophrenia, as well as to the cellular mechanisms of neurological disorders.