The associative-semantic network for words and pictures: effective connectivity and graph analysis.
Vandenberghe R., Wang Y., Nelissen N., Vandenbulcke M., Dhollander T., Sunaert S., Dupont P.
Explicit associative-semantic processing of words and pictures activates a distributed set of brain areas that has been replicated across a wide range of studies. We applied graph analysis to examine the structure of this network. We determined how the left ventral occipitotemporal transition zone (vOT) was connected to word-specific areas. A modularity analysis discerned four communities: one corresponded to the classical perisylvian language system, including superior temporal sulcus (STS), middle temporal gyrus (GTm) and pars triangularis of the inferior frontal gyrus (GFi), among other nodes. A second subsystem consisted of vOT and anterior fusiform gyrus along with hippocampus and intraparietal sulcus. The two subsystems were linked through a unique connection between vOT and GTm, which were hubs with a high betweenness centrality compared to STS and GFi which had a high local clustering coefficient. Graph analysis reveals novel insights into the structure of the network for associative-semantic processing.